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170 Sq. Ft. Modern Treehouse Micro Cabin: Would You Live Here?

I don’t consider this a treehouse although it’s a modern micro cabin on stilts (so it’s similar to one).

But Rockefeller Partners Architects call the project and shelter shown here the Banyan Treehouse.

I like the name because it’s like a modern take on the treehouse (using no living trees).

And since the shelter sits 12′ off the ground it still looks and feels like a treehouse.

It’s near downtown Los Angeles and just 170 sq. ft. in size.

The tiny house is built on steel stilts and it has a modern, minimalist and whimsical flair.

Modern, Minimalist & Whimsical Micro Cabin

© Eric Staudenmaier for Rockefeller Partners Architects

© Eric Staudenmaier for Rockefeller Partners Architects

If you want to see the rest if this amazing micro studio on stilts enjoy and share below:

Whimsical Micro Cabin on Stilts

Banyan-Treehouse-Modern-Micro-Cabin-Rockefeller-Architects-002 Banyan-Treehouse-Modern-Micro-Cabin-Rockefeller-Architects-003

Living Area with Bookshelves and Built in Couch


Desk with View of Nature


Shelves and Wood Burning Stove




Private Outdoor Shower

Banyan-Treehouse-Modern-Micro-Cabin-Rockefeller-Architects-008 Banyan-Treehouse-Modern-Micro-Cabin-Rockefeller-Architects-009



Floor Plan


Elevation Drawing


© Eric Staudenmaier for Rockefeller Partners Architects

The structure is used as an office as well as a studio and recreational getaway.

It’s located in the backyard of a normal residence. The owner is an artist and nature lover.

Photography by Eric Staudenmaier for Rockefeller Partners Architects.


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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 37 comments… add one }
  • Cosy Burke
    March 3, 2014, 1:17 pm

    Live the design & open feel. Lovely!

  • LaMar
    March 3, 2014, 1:27 pm

    Too much glass and intrusive pipes. Not designed for permanent living. Houses on stilts are good in wetland areas and to get a better view but can be a structural nightmare.

    A second story observatory would be a better plan if you want a high overlook.


    • jerryd
      April 6, 2014, 9:16 pm

      I agree Lamar, the stilts are terribly designed.

      I can see an earthquake or slide twisting these racking the place apart besides the intrusion into the interior by the stilts for no good reason.

      In places like this it would be better to make actual floating ‘hull’ so earthquakes, landslides you just float on the top. The barge like hull could be used for utilities like storing water, storage, etc

      In this case a lot stilt platform with the hull sat on top. Then the earth can shake and all it would do is slide back and forth a foot or 2 or ride the slide down the hill.

      Before thinking about living anywhere for a while ask around to the old timers what to watch out for in that area, even if you don’t own the property.

      In boating it’s the first thing smart boaters do. It works similar on land.

      • Paul
        August 16, 2014, 5:13 am

        Quote: In places like this it would be better to make actual floating ‘hull’ so earthquakes, landslides you just float on the top.

        Oh, so you go sliding down the hill instead? Yeah, real good idea in a house… so much more sensible to slide all the way down a hill, into other houses, trees, people… hell, zombies even. /sarcasm mode off

        • jerryd
          August 16, 2014, 6:45 am

          So you want the homes, people get crushed? So you are saying people should let their property get destroyed, die instead?

          Anything it hits sliding down the hill has already been crushed by the landslide it’d floating on, No?

          Apparently you have no clue yet think you are so smart. Your post shows otherwise, ignorance instead of being smart.

      • Gloria
        March 4, 2016, 9:36 pm

        Perhaps I am naive but shouldn’t architects in an earthquake prone area know what they are doing…they do have to meet building code requirements? Do those stilts go down to bedrock for example. I lived in San Francisco in 1989, when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit. Hillside homes fared well. If you google you can find out the types of soil and home construction that did not fare well. My house was on bedrock…no damage sustained.

  • Critter
    March 3, 2014, 2:04 pm

    Beautiful craftsmanship and artistic design. Nice studio for reading, writting, yoga, meditation, or doing art. A bit sterile looking inside, even with all that beautiful wood. Is there a kitchen? I don’t get the outdoor urban shower. Nice for the wine and cheese crowd. Coat and tie, but please remove your shoes before entering. No kids, dogs, or Super Bowl party.

  • Linda Quiggle
    March 3, 2014, 2:22 pm

    I sure would. I saw this home on Treehouse Master on the Animal Network a few months ago. It is very professionally built and appointed.

    • Alex
      March 3, 2014, 2:44 pm

      Nice! Thanks Linda 🙂

  • Saint Phlip
    March 3, 2014, 3:19 pm

    Well, while it may be a small house in terms of the indoor space, by the time you add in all the outdoor concrete space, it’s getting pretty big, and using quite a lot of resources. I think I’d like it a lot better if it were constructed more naturally, with less of a manufactured footprint.

    • Ralph Sly
      March 4, 2014, 7:20 am

      Kind of sort of have a point.

  • TomLeeM
    March 3, 2014, 7:45 pm

    I think that is really nice. It would make for an excellent artist studio.

  • Mary J
    March 3, 2014, 9:35 pm

    BEAUTIFUL! My first thought looking at the outside (2nd photo) was ‘china cabinet with sculptural roof”.

    Lovely to look at and I imagine lovely to live in if you love modern design. Going on quality and finish it’s a Tiny house with a not so tiny price tag but that’s ok because it’s about individual taste and affordability and loving where you live.

  • Rich
    March 3, 2014, 9:58 pm

    Beautifully designed & crafted “egotecture”. Certainly burdened by a big ecological footprint and cost.

  • velja
    March 4, 2014, 5:58 pm

    Really amazing cabin…perfection in each detail (y)

  • Lisa Marie
    May 26, 2014, 9:07 pm

    I dig the outdoor shower! Living in LA, you can get away with that and leave more interior space for…stuff, especially if it is in a private back yard. I also like the artistic bent (get it? BENT!?!) of the interior metal tubes/structures – necessary or not, they are a reminder that a tiny house doesn’t have to be pure function, that our artistic nature is what makes humans pretty cool. Seeing as is is on a slope in a pretty tight spot (real estate is pretty expensive in LA, from what I hear), I think they made the best use of the area they had to work with. I would have liked to have seen the concrete sculpted and stained to resemble tree trunks et al – that would have been cool!

  • Lindy
    August 21, 2014, 10:47 pm

    I would live in a place like this if it was in the backyard of one of my kids. LOL I don’t know about the outside shower, but if I lived near the house and could use theirs that would work. Just give me a day bed LOL and maybe a place to plug in a coffee pot. 🙂
    Otherwise, it’s too small as a residence. I would love it as a retreat though.

    • Alex
      August 21, 2014, 10:57 pm

      Thanks Lindy 🙂

  • Kelly Libert
    September 9, 2014, 6:52 pm

    Charming! I like the combination of steel, wood, and glass. The concrete doesn’t fit, though. I think stone or more wood would have melded better with the house.

  • Denise
    September 18, 2014, 5:40 am

    I really like this because for being Minimalist, it is not cold at all. It actually is very warm and invites one to stay awhile. To save space, I like the idea of an outdoor shower but here in the NW, that would be good for maybe half the year. It looks like there is hints of a kitchenette, although it does not appear to be deliberately shown. I am a bibliophile and this gives space for a nice library without leaving the definition of tiny.

  • Cliff
    December 31, 2014, 12:12 am

    Would definitely live here. Love this little treehouse. I have seen it on other sites. Would make just a few small weeks to it and it would be perfect. Now if you could just get a permit for it to be a main living dwelling it would be perfect.

  • AVD
    March 4, 2016, 7:06 pm

    One of the mantras of the tiny-small house movement is affordability. Any guess on the cost of this whatachamacallit? I am guessing $2000 / sq.ft. applied to the “house” as well as the developed stairs, walls, etc. that makes it possible to get into the “house”.

  • Marcy
    March 5, 2016, 10:10 am

    This neat, though I wouldn’t want to live in it. My first thought was, why would you put all those windows for light and view, and then put the sofa so that it is facing a wall.

    • Ericc
      March 5, 2016, 2:27 pm

      Because this is not a r.e.s.i.d.e.n.c.e…. it is an office/art studio. Or in other words… a place to work.

    • Carol
      March 7, 2016, 10:34 am

      Having lived in Los Angeles for over 30 years there is a practical reason why the couch faces a wall.
      The sun is very bright and you need sun glasses every time you step outside. With the sunlight behind you it will be easier to read all those books.

  • November 4, 2016, 4:03 pm

    I love this kind of solution. Following the great Philip Johnson, as a syntesis of a post “Internetional Style” and “Deconstructionism”, this kind of ‘live touches the possible, absolute, pleasure summit! (for me)

    November 4, 2016, 4:17 pm

    And probably costs $300,000.00 or $400,000.00….! Rotflmao….! The Banyan tree house…? And The Rockefeller Partners Architects…? That just stinks of priced higher than nature should ever allow… What people will pay to live in California sometimes amazes me… It’s like if they don’t their whole life will go down the tubes… Personally I believe that when we start coveting like this we are already lost with out chance of self redemption…..! I think if the bible is the truth and that if judgement day is coming, California is the first of the modern Sodom to be vaporized ….! Lmao….! I’m sorry, I just don’t get the attraction….! No…! I’m not sorry…

  • Allin
    November 4, 2016, 8:24 pm

    A lot of comments on this one. Personally I think it’s inventive great design and it looks like it’s been well thought out. Congratulations

    • Natalie
      November 7, 2016, 9:39 am

      Thanks for your positivity Allin 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • jm
    November 4, 2016, 9:58 pm

    Workmanship is superb. I love the concrete formwork. Yeah, ok, it’s more than many on this site can afford. So what? You’re not paying for it. The owner, and his architect, built exactly what they wanted. And well done! And on a difficult site! Do you really think that someone who spends this much, (and that superb formwork is not cheap) would not not make sure the structure is securely anchored? And not get exactly what they want? Do we really need a comment from everyone on whether or not THEY can afford something like this? After all, YOU’RE not ever going to live here so it’s pointless to project your life living here. And who know’s what the owner had in mind. Do you know how difficult it was/is to even get a permit to build on a site like this? Would not the building department’s engineers make certain the footing is sound? These are some things we can safely assume. This is a structure/sculpture and probably many more things. Just go with the flow–this is a work of architectural art.

    • Natalie
      November 7, 2016, 9:40 am

      Very true, JM! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Kid Cardona
    November 5, 2016, 6:24 am

    I like the house. I could live in it no problem. As for a kitchen, all electric would work well with out taking up a ton of space, though l do prefer to cook with gas. I thought this place was by the beach , hence the out door shower. Either way if the weather is warm enough in the winter, then an out door shower is great. Nice job. Everything is very expensive to do in California, so l wonder what something like this would cost in the real world?

    • Natalie
      November 7, 2016, 9:41 am

      I prefer gas too! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Tadashi
    November 22, 2017, 8:33 am

    Geez! The negativity bespeaks a whole lot of bitter, sad, jealous people. You don’t have to live there, relax. As for earthquakes and the like – can we not simply enjoy a space for what it is without making a hit-list off details to pick apart until the rest of the vultures come to eat the remains? This is someone’s space – relax!

    Regarding to comments about “egotecture” and the environmental impart – has no one considered that environmentally sound methods and meterials can be used without it looking like plywood sheet walls and a reclaimed barn exterior? I live in a completely eco-sensitive neighborhood and our houses, gasp, look like regular homes.

    I think it is gorgeous. If there was a bed/kitchen space I would easily make this style my home – it feels purposeful, well-thought, finished and warm yet minimal. It can be incredibly difficult to create a balance minimal space and this does it exceptionally well. I especially love the floating roofline that gives way to a top portico of windows – it gives light and lightness to the space. How lucky for the homeowner to have such a nice space to live/work within.

  • Theresa Perdue
    May 26, 2019, 12:06 pm

    I wish I could see the kitchen but if it’s as nice as the rest of the place I would move in in a heartbeat😍 I love it!

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