A Canopy Dwelling Named After Rain: The Yoki Tree House


Built between the branches of two aged cypress trees, the ‘Yoki Treehouse’ sits seven meters above a spring-fed creek an hours drive outside of Austin, Texas. This delightful two-piece structure is the latest canopy dwelling by Will Beilharz, an American architect who specializes in tree houses.

Beilharz spent the later part of his childhood living on an off-grid organic farm outside of Austin, a period during which he helped his father build the Mongolian yurt his family lived in. It was a time that was clearly formative to his architectural practice and his understanding of nature; in an interview with Hipcamp he explains: “When I started ArtisTree… I started to understand the gifts that I had been given—learning to build around nature, design with nature, with the seasons and with the cycles that were naturally occurring.” Named after the Hopi Native American word for rain, ‘Yoki’ fittingly sits above a natural spring and stream and is dedicated to the rain that feeds the area. Built in two volumes, the living, kitchen and sleeping quarters are housed in the main structure, whilst the smaller structure holds the bathroom. These two designs are linked by an 18 meter rope bridge, which branches out at points to various decks and paths across the property. The main house is accessed via the roof-cum-observation deck, from which a spiral staircase leads to a second balcony area built around branches of the cypress trees. The ‘Yoki Treehouse’ is part of ArtisTree, a sustainable tourism project that offers tree houses for rent as accommodation. Interested in an escape? You can find more information on booking here.


All images © Smiling Forest