in mexico city, architect gerardo broissin has built a transparent treehouse using glass rather than wood. the structure is titled ‘chantli kuaulakoyokan’, which means ‘house in the tree top’ in nahuatl — mexico’s most spoken indigenous language. the scheme is located at the foothills of the sierra de las cruces, a long mountain range situated to the west of the city center.

gerardo broissin glass treehouse
all images by alexander d’la roche



the design evokes feelings of childhood and of the desire for an independent place of refuge. however, rather than using conventional timber for the treehouse’s construction, broissin reinterpreted the typology using glass. this gesture intends to highlight the loss of a child’s innocence over time, with warm wood being replaced by cold glazing.

gerardo broissin glass treehouse
the structure features a transparent floor, walls, and ceiling



the treehouse also makes reference to ‘privacidad’, a play by mexican actor diego luna, where the supposed privacy promised by social media is questioned. in this way, the project asks visitors to reflect on the themes of security and privacy — in both physical and virtual forms. in addition to the glass structure, broissin has created a lushly planted ‘micro forest’. ‘chantli kuaulakoyokan’ forms part of design house, an event that takes place each year as part of design week mexico.

gerardo broissin glass treehouse
the design evokes feelings of childhood, and of the desire for an independent place of refuge

gerardo broissin glass treehouse
the project is titled ‘chantli kuaulakoyokan’, which means ‘house in the tree top’ in nahuatl 

gerardo broissin glass treehouse
visitors access the treehouse via a glass staircase

gerardo broissin glass treehouse
the architect has also created a lushly planted ‘micro forest’

gerardo broissin glass treehouse
the treehouse measures just 7 square meters

gerardo broissin glass treehouse
the treehouse was on display as part of design week mexico



project info:


location: mexico city
area: treehouse: 7 sqm (75 sqf); yard: 70 sqm (753 sqf)
architect: broissin
partner in charge: m.arch. gerardo broissin
project leaders: arq. loredana croci, arq. pablo morales
sponsor: saint gobain glass
photography: alexander d’ la roche, BA

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