Tree Hotel / Tham & Videgård Arkitekter

© Åke E:son Lindman

Architects: Tham & Videgård Arkitekter
Location: Harads, Sweden
Chief Architects: Martin Videgård and Bolle Tham
Collaborators: Andreas Helgesson, Julia Gudiel Urbano, Mia Nygren
Client: Tree Hotel / Brittas Pensionat, Britta Lindvall and Kent Lindvall
Project Year: 2008-2010
Photographs: Åke E:son Lindman

floor plan
section render

A tree hotel in the far north of Sweden, near the small village of Harads, close to the polar circle.

© Åke E:son Lindman

A shelter up in the trees; a lightweight aluminium structure hung around a tree trunk, a 4x4x4 meters box clad in mirrored . The exterior reflects the surroundings and the sky, creating a camouflaged refuge. The interior is all made of plywood and the windows give a 360 degree view of the surroundings.

The construction also alludes to how man relates to nature, how we use high tech materials and products when exploring remote places in harsh climates (Gore-tex, Kevlar, composite materials, light weight tents etc).

© Åke E:son Lindman
exploded axon

The functions included provides for a living for two people; a double bed, a small bath room, a living room and a roof terrace. Access to the cabin is by a rope bridge connected to the next tree.

To prevent birds colliding with the reflective glass, a transparent ultraviolet colour is laminated into the glass panes which are visible for birds only.

Cite: "Tree Hotel / Tham & Videgård Arkitekter" 30 Jun 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=103393>

33 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Awesome architecture! Really well thought out, almost flawless. I only wonder how practical it will be to keep the exterior surface clean. Even still, it’s worth a try given the result — the structure melts into the forest.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    kind of trippy! do the anchors/brackets/clamps allow the tree to grow? I’m curious about the detriments to the tree with these types of projects.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Their approach is very compelling, attempting to dissolve the ‘figure’ into the ‘ground’. Though it’s a clever way to respond to its context, the sharp, glazed, metallic box still begs to be of its context: the forest. I think Tham & Videgård’s effort is commendable, but this project seems more successful at creating a big effect than a small affect. Just look at the movie Predator, Schwarzenegger blended in with the ground by covering himself in mud, whereas The Predator used his high-tech mirroring capabilities, and we all know how the movie ends.

      • Thumb up Thumb down +2

        Due diligence…please fact check before speaking.
        “To prevent birds colliding with the reflective glass, a transparent ultraviolet colour is laminated into the glass panes which are visible for birds only.”

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        I’m thinking that people have fewer kind feelings towards squirrels than they do to birds. It may in fact enhance their appreciation for this project if it helps take out a squirrel or too.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    if i had a dollar for every time i have seen this exact design posted on blogs i’d be RICH! a fancy treehouse. it was pretty cool the first time i saw it! lol

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    There is a pattern in the surface that reflects infrared light so that the birds see the boxes as solids insted of the mirror we see…

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    is this the only treehouse or are there several? do you have common facilities such as shower/bathrooms etc.?

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I’m just wondering what is the biggest asset, of this project. Does it enhance the experience of staying in its beautiful surronding? …I think no.
    Why is it attached to the tree instead of standing on the ground? There are also some technical issues like bathroom ventilation, overheating, flexibility of the structure vs. the glass coating that Im curiuos about.

    On the other hand, if I had to choose between staying in this box or a tent on the ground my choice would be this box, just because of its uniqueness and my curiosity…it definately has some attraction

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    There’s a toilet, but I don’t see a waste pipe (the photos make it hard to see). Frankly, if it has a chemical toilet, it’s going to be a crying shame to have something so beautiful and so wonderfully designed end up being nothing more than a mirrored box that stinks of shit.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It’s a fun idea, but it seems the energy has been devoted to the exterior, and the inhabitable interior space is merely a side consequence, rather than having any real valued interaction with the forest.
    However, the reflective cube with light squares glowing works great as an art installation when seen from the ground…

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I do believe all the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for novices. May you please prolong them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Amazing architecture, I loved the concept. Its flawless exterior advocates the superiority of nature. As if I was living in utopia and not in this era….. Awesome

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Isn’t out there enough bird-killer buildings, that they need also to invade this pristine sanctuary with more mortal traps?
    Profesional narcissism!

    • Thumb up Thumb down +1

      Dear José, please do a favour to all of us and read the “description” carefully…

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