Look Up, Look Way Up

Cool Wood

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Mitchell Brown

What is it about treehouses that attracts us to them? The promise of reconnecting with nature? The fulfillment of our dreams of freedom and independence? A simpler way of life that takes us just a little closer to the stars? Whatever our reasons for loving treehouses, designers around the world have taken this staple of childhood dreams and created breathtaking wooden structures that inspire our imaginations.

In Iran, architects Kajal Kouchakpour and Roza Bemani earned first place in the Tree House 2021 Architecture Competition with their innovative design. As they put it, “The spatial structure of the wood allows you to experience a variety of views through breaks at different levels. This idea transforms life in the forest into a dynamic spatial experience by emphasizing the unique potential of trees and thereby challenging the notion of living.”

British designer Sebastian Cox has created a treehouse on the grounds of Harewood House in West Yorkshire, England, to show how cutting down trees can make woodlands healthier, and
also provide a sustainable source of material for designers and builders. His Sylvascope treehouse is made almost entirely of wood harvested from the site.

Soaring above the forest floor, the A-F3 treehouses by Antony Gibbon Designs are modern in design, yet their dark timber cladding and delicate pedestals allow them to stand comfortably within the natural landscape. The upper floor of each structure houses a bedroom, while the lower provides a spacious living area.To one side of the hexagonal floorplate is a large, uninterrupted window that offers a unique view of the natural surroundings.

And take a second look at Woodnest by Norway’s Helen & Hard; it’s actually two shingle-clad treehouses arranged around the tree trunks that form the main structural core. Suspended about 6 m above the forest floor, each of the cabins has an internal floor area of just 15 sq.m that incorporates sleeping areas, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a living space with views of the majestic Hardangerfjord.

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