Imagine living in a tree house, in a secret refuge, far from everything and from everyone. For Renzo Stucchi, owner of the holiday farm complex La Piantata, near Viterbo, Italy, reality exceeds the imagination. His Black Cabin, built by Alain Laurens’s tree house company, La Cabane Perchée, is an 87 sq m ultra-luxury suite (the largest tree house suite in Europe), suspended eight meters above ground. “I have realized a project that I had been thinking about for a long time,” explains the owner. “For many people, a tree house is synonymous with Spartan lodgings, but in this case it’s just the opposite: a suite with all the amenities, a cutting-edge eco-loft.” This authentic suite provides just about everything: a shower-spa, air-conditioning, LED TV with satellite antenna, home theater, and, of course, room service. Because it is wonderful to lose yourself amongst the fronds of trees, but who says you can’t do that while surrounded by the comforts of life and your favorite technologies? Here is proof that ecology and high-tech can happily coexist. The extra services available to guests include in-room massage and a breakfast of homemade organic farm products. La Piantata also produces cosmetics, perfumes and oils derived from lavender grown on the premises. “After I built my first tree house, Suite Bleue, completed in 2005,” continues Renzo, “I had so many requests that I had to build another one. The first one is simple and romantic, while this one is ultramodern, with all the comforts and amenities.” “Every tree house by Cabane Perchée is unique,” comments Laurens, “built in complete respect of the genius loci. The first step is the search for the right tree, in this case a 200-year-old umbrella pine.” Renzo describes it enthusiastically as a “majestic and mighty tree.” “As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be the ideal place for my new tree house. The structure of the tree house does not interfere with the vitality of the tree in any way; not even a single nail is hammered into the wood. The health of both trees is monitored regularly by an agronomist from the University of Tuscia, who also devised an effective way to avert the danger of lightning by creating a protective magnetic field.” The Black Cabin was built using planks of American red cedar. The interiors are by Claudia Pelizzari, who selected sophisticated furnishings by the most prominent contemporary designers. The suite features a glass shower, abstract paintings on the walls, eco-friendly fabrics, and high-tech lighting and accessories. On the terrace, comfortable lounge chairs permit guests to enjoy the splendid landscape that unfolds across olive groves and lavender fields. A telescope is available for admiring the night sky, because, from the vantage point of a tree house, the stars seem closer than ever.