Monday, July 02, 2007


Lately I've become interested in alternative building technologies, partially on account of the fact that those technologies are often more environmentally friendly than traditional technologies, and partially on account of the fact that they are often less expensive. Such technologies include such things as yurts and domes, as well as homes built from things such as shipping containers.

I recently came across one web site that had all the others beat when it came to unusual approaches to home building. Admittedly, a person's definition of home would have to preclude the idea of having a whole lot of space for one's things, if one decided to define a "home" in such a manner. But it's conceivable that a person might choose to build such a structure, if one just needed a small place to use as a writer's retreat, or as an unusual alternative to a traditional tent when spending the weekend in the woods.

Free Spirit Spheres are made by a Canadian woodworker named Tom Chudleigh ( Essentially, a Free Spirit Sphere is a large wood-and-fiberglass ball (or in some cases, a ball made completely from fiberglass) with windows, a door, and a floor large enough to support items such as a bed or a small desk.

The sphere isn't placed on the ground. Rather, it's hung from multiple tall trees, using cables which are placed in such a way as to minimize the amount of swaying which occurs during a strong breeze or wind. In other words, it's a spherical treehouse. If you thought that the Ewok village in the third Star Wars movie was odd, then you haven't seen a "home" from Free Spirit Spheres. The Ewoks lived in tree houses, sure, but at least they looked somewhat like conventional structures such as one might find in an ancient tribal village.

Imagine an entire neighborhood, nestled deep in the forest, consisting of Free Spirit Spheres' products. It would give new meaning to phrases such as "I'm having a ball" and "just hangin' out".

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