jul 14, 2010


the ‘mirrorcube’ by tham & videgard  architects – one of the rooms in treehotel

the ‘treehotel’ is set to open this weekend. located in harads, sweden about 60 km south of the arctic circle – currently consisting of four rooms: the cabin, the blue cone, the nest and the mirrorcube. the project was conceived by tree hotel co-founder kent lindvall, a former guidance counselor who came up with the concept with his wife britta. two additional structures are scheduled to open in october: the UFO and a room with a view.

first six structures were designed by five different architects;sandell & sandberg,
interior group ab, marten cyrene, inredningsgruppen and tham & videgard architects

designboom reported in 2009 on the ‘treehotel’ in its concept stage: ‘‘harads’ tree hotel‘.

treehotel the mirrored structure appears to disappear in low light

the ‘mirrorcube’, designed by tham & videgard architects stands four meters high and four meters wide, and has drawn widespread attention as it will be attached to a single tree and is clad entirely in mirrored glass.

‘everything will reflect in this – the trees, the birds, the clouds, the sun, everything. so it should be invisible nearly in the forest.‘ – kent lindvall

treehotel closer view

treehotel the reflection of the sky

treehotel mirrorcube

each of the rooms, vary in size from 15 to 30 square metres and are positioned in pine trees between four and six metres from the ground. they have all been constructed from wood and glass and feature an electric floor heating system, a state-of-the-art eco-friendly incineration toilet and a water-efficient hand basin.

lindvall says a special film will be applied to the glass which will be visible to birds. this is just one of the steps being taken to minimize treehotel’s impact on local wildlife says anette selberg, who is in charge of crafting an excursion program for guests.

‘this is untouched forest and we want to maintain it the same way. we decided for example to not offer snowmobile safari which is very common up here,’ says selberg. instead, wilderness walks will be offered. the vision of the treehotel is proving to be a powerful draw from enquiries coming from far and wide. ‘…mainly from europe, but I know that new zealand has been contacting us as well as australia…’

treehotel the interior of mirrorcube

treehotel being lifted into position

treehotel positioning ‘mirrorcube’ into place

treehotel blue cone room by sandell & sandberg

the ‘blue cone’ room is founded on three points of support. access to the tree room is by a bridge from the mountain behind. the building is a traditional wood construction with a facade of split birch. the windows and cupola are made of plastic.

treehotel ‘blue cone’ room by sandell & sandberg

treehotel the ‘cabin room’ by cyren and cyren being positioned into place

when cyren and cyren visited harads to view possible sites, they formulated an idea around a horizontal approach: a footbridge leading to a spacious deck. it offers the potential for future expansion, with additional tree houses and footbridges (as well as viewing platforms and places to rest). the basic shape of the deck comes from the supporting trees in the slope. the actual tree house is suspended from the deck. this will hide the volume of the building to a certain degree. the deck is slightly separated from the building in order to make it appear smaller and also to allow the building its own expression.

treehotel rendering of the ‘cabin room’

treehotel the tree sauna under construction  designed by bertil harstrom/inredningsgruppen

the sauna is intended for 12 people at the one time.

treehotel drawing of the tree sauna

treehotel the ‘bird’s nest’ room designed by inredningsgruppen – artist image

the bird’s nest concept is based upon the contrast between exterior and interior. from the outside it appears as a big nest, only the scale separating it from other nests in the vicinity. discreet windows are almost hidden by the network of branches. inside it’s a high standard room with modern design. a coachwork panel decorates the inner wall. there is space and beds for a family with two children. the bedroom is a separate room with sliding doors. you access the nest by a retractable staircase.

treehotel the bird’s nest by inredningsgruppen

the tree hotel will be open all year round, so guests will be able to benefit from either of hot summer or cold winters.

in five years time, the hope is that the treehotel will have 24 rooms each designed by 24 different architects.

  • It must be amazing and incredible suggestive. ^^,

    Vale - says:
  • very nice

    katharina says:
  • wicked

    kos says:
  • what about the birds with the mirrors????

    sandra says:
  • nice…but..mirrors, sun, forest….fire? a single pice of glass can cose a fire.

    manuel says:
  • Wonderful and amazing. But, I do pity the poor birds that will not understand the mirrors.

    rcvs1 says:
  • You can see more and learn more about the other available treehouse huts at the Treehotel in Sweden here

    laura sweet says:
  • I am really afraid if birds or other animals hit the house………it is too dangerous, I think…there are many possibilities to occur accidents.

    early says:
  • yes,I am worrying the animals attack the house. but anyway it is nice.

    highflyingcheney says:
  • birds strike regular windows…they will surely have a big problem with this. I appreciate the blend in properties but that other fact is a sad truth…..

    pathwitheart says:
  • do birds, while flying, have head on collisions with each other…?

    mb says:
  • I am worried mostly about the fire. If mirrors reflect sunlight on a dried grass or wood it will burn.
    To much sacrifice for a forest just the hiding purpose.

    vera says:
  • it’s always important to read up on something properly before passing judgements and negative vibes.

    positive says:
  • “To prevent birds colliding with the tree hotel, a transparent ultraviolet colour, visible for birds only, will be laminated into the glass panes.” 😀

    Jaz says:
  • i think the birds will be crashing alot in the mirrow walls…..

    Dean says:
  • I understand the concerns for the birds well being, but I’d like to see who can light a fire with a mirror – it’s just the sun shining from another angle. I think you’re mistaking it with a lens, which concentrates the light like a magnifying glass.
    Anyway – great hotel concept!

    Lighting geek says:
  • Eh…how can I say this… Tham? Videgard? Ehhhh…who picks up the dead birds that rams into the mirrorred exterior walls? And do you have any recipes for daily fresh mixed fowls?

    Not a good idea. The Ontario Science Center in Ottawa have much less mirrored outside walls than your design and they glued quite a lot of fake birds of pray silouhettes on the exterior to make sure the local birds do not ram into the mirrors. Maybe you could learn from their design.

    Still an impressive look though. Just don’t take a snapshot of the surrounding grounds after bird migration season…”Oh my goooood! The humanity…!” 🙂

    OhCanada says:
  • I am surprised at the quantitiy of mirror used in the mirror designs. In the attempt to blend seamlessly into the countryside and create a beautiful harmony, the designers forgot about the winged wildlife that will undoubtedly lose their lives by flying full speed into the cube thinking that they are flying into open space. This needless death can be alleviated by applying vinyl graphics to the mirror surface. The birds will perceive the graphics as a barrier and avoid the mirror altogether- good luck!

    Mike Saubert , Chicago, Illinois,USA says:

    Walter Gropius says:
  • Read the text dont just look at the pictures: “Lindvall says a special film will be applied to the glass which will be visible to birds. this is just one of the steps being taken to minimize treehotel’s impact on local wildlife says anette selberg, who is in charge of crafting an excursion program for guests.

    Birdy says:
  • Could you provide some information about the type of film specified to deter birds? Thank you

    birdarchitect says:

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