architects garvin goepel & christian baumgarten have collaborated to present two amorphous, curved nest modules, providing shelter high up in the trees, respectively over the water and land, providing a close connection to nature. inspired by the systemically engineered composition of wasp’s nests, the concept includes the layering, addition, and multiplication of individual elements, in order to produce the two treehouse units situated next to the ruins of the mothe chandeniers castle, in france. the project has been introduced as an entry of the ‘tree house module’ competition for young architects, launched by french company dartagnans.

the wasp nest a neglected relationship 4
the first module is located in a suspended location, elevated in the arches of a tree
all images courtesy of garvin goepel & christian baumgarten 



in homage to the ingeniously layered structure of wasp nests, the first module ‘nidus dolichovespula sylvestris’ is composed accordingly, out of 24 individual panels. each panel consists of a wooden frame structure with inner-bend wood paneling and an outer cladding flow pattern, made from bent, interconnected lianas and bark splits from the site. located in a suspended location between sky and earth, elevated in the arches of a tree, the treehouse by goepel & baumgarten serves as a forest shelter, allowing inhabitants to rediscover a peaceful life close to nature, away from the hectic urban environment.

the wasp nest a neglected relationship 1
the second module is a free-standing composition that does not require a tree as structural support



in contrast to the first module, the second one, ‘nidus polistinae’ is a free-standing composition that does not require a tree as structural support. it is elevated by pilings that allow the unit to be situated in water and land. the upper part is equal, in its arrangement and fabrication, to module number 1. below, a sauna is added, composed of the same tectonic system, demonstrating the customizable ability of the individual panels’ rearrangement. after being steamed from the last sauna infusion, visitors can dip their feet into the cold water from the terrace, positioned just over the lake’s surface. here, they can enjoy the view of the sculpture of pinnacles, mullioned windows, and flowery buttresses of mothe chandeniers.


the wasp nest a neglected relationship 2
concept diagram



the production and fabrication of the elements are highly customizable as the modules consist of layering and interlocking single parts rather than a continuous big surface. each panel can be adapted to special contextual arrangements, such as individual tree branches in different locations. the modules can be integrated by exchanging and customizing single panels without interfering with the overall conceptual design or the local characteristics.


the wasp nest a neglected relationship 3
construction diagram – exploded view



the tectonic system of both modules provides the opportunity size adaptations, along with addition or subtraction of elements, in both the horizontal and the vertical axis. meanwhile, the relatively small size of these individual elements allows prefabrication in local factories and easy transportation to the site. it also ensures the structures’ easy assembly in the challenging and narrow context of the forest. in this way, both modules can be easily disassembled and to be moved to different settings.

the wasp nest a neglected relationship 5
vertical section


the wasp nest a neglected relationship 6
horizontal section



project info:


name: the wasp nest 
architects: garvin goepel, christian baumgarten
location: france 



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom