Definitely, the tree house was one of our greatest childhood aspirations. Once children grow up, the tree house often turns into a distant memory or an unfulfilled dream. Among all adults, architects have an extraordinary privilege – they can build their own childhood desires. This is the opportunity that YAC’s Tree House Module 2020 competition among young designers, students and graduates, organized by the French company Dartagnans. The projects were to be sited at one of the many picturesque castles of rural France, namely Vibrac, Mothe Chandeniers and Ebaupinay, in an effort to preserve and draw touristic interest.
Architects Steven Wladimir Robayo Rodriguez and Yasin Lopez El Amrani have drawn inspiration from their childhood memories for their own concept of a treehouse, proposed to settle around a serene lake in rural France. The project has been selected a finalist of the competition.
Each treehouse comprises a simple construction with clean lines, settling harmoniously next to the water, without having to destroy the environment for its construction. The modules appear as wooden and glass polyhedra with two levels and a large window, opening towards the exterior, keeping residents in close contact with nature.
The users can experience nature in many ways in this treehouse. The structure cantilevered 3m above the lake surface offers panoramic views of the lake, while the units right on the ground that open towards the water enable the occupants to feel like they are floating.
Another finalist, Studio Shanil imagines the treehouse module as an ‘Enchanting Nest’, with trees occupied by multiple volumes, transporting the residents to a different world. Aiming to evoke the enchanting beauty and fantasy of the castle and surrounding forest, which Dartagnans seeks to preserve, the proposal seeks to capture the most of the natural setting.
Each of the ‘nests’ is oriented towards different angles, offering a uniquely different experience. One volume overlooks a lush field, another one – a flowing stream, while the third frames the view of the castle.
The project enables the user to literally relive the joyful moments of climbing a tree, as the roof of one ‘nest’ becomes a terrace of the next one, so that the visitor can take a journey through the canopies. The modular design makes the treehouse more versatile, allowing it to be assembled in various contexts.
‘The Cocoon’ by Rotterdam-based multidisciplinary practice Score Architecture is not just a treehouse, it has been conceived as a unique habitat establishing a specific relation to the context. It aims to create an environment, where humans, animals and nature coexist in harmony.
The proposal encompasses two different bubble-shaped modules sited to emphasize the surrounding landscape. One module hangs from the trees, firmly supported with a system of stretched ropes and anchored with steel elements. The second unit is placed on piles, creating an impression that it gently floats on the river. Both modules are available in variations of compositions, sizes and openings.
The interiors are designed for humans and animals, while the external skin provides an environment for plants to grow and naturally creates habitats for microorganisms and insects as part of a ‘living landscape canvas’. The main bamboo netting structure supports the exterior finish of organic hemp mesh, while internally the rooms are constructed with timber elements.
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