Seven Scandinavian architects have now built treehouses for Sweden’s Treehotel, including a bird’s nest, a mirrored cube and the charred timber cabin added earlier this month by Snøhetta.
Set up by Kent Lindvall and his wife Britta in 2010, the Treehotel offers themed lodgings for tourists venturing north of the Arctic Circle in search of the Northern Lights.
The seven suites are arranged through a stretch of woodland located in Harads, with designs by architects including Tham + Videgård Arkitekter and Rintala Eggertsson Architects.
“The idea behind Treehotel is to offer high-standard accommodation in a harmonious place where none of the ordinary stress of everyday life exists,” said Kent Lindvall, at the launch of Snøhetta’s The 7th Room.
The Lindvall’s were inspired by Jonas Selberg Augustsen’s film The Tree Lover, a tale of three urbanites that build a treehouse together in the forest.
At the time, the couple were running a 1930s guesthouse on the site where the movie was shot, but struggling to attract business. So they decided to rent out the treehouse instead.
“We ran the hotel for six years with really bad results – nearly no guests – and we had to fight to have our own salaries, so really needed to find a new idea to attract more people,” explained Lindvall.
“But we were lucky – at the same time we had a friend who wanted to come up and make a film about building a treehouse he didn’t use so much, so we asked him if we could rent it out.”
“People came to stay in the Treehouse and we noticed when they came back for breakfast they had big smiles on their faces; they were really happy with the experience of staying high up in the tree and we thought – this is something we can do more with,” added Lindvall.
See all seven treetop suites:
The Birds Nest by Inrednin Gsgruppen
Haphazardly arranged twigs give this suite the appearance of a huge bird’s nest. A retractable staircase leads up to the four-bed cabin, which was added to the site in 2010 by Swedish practice Inrednin Gsgruppen.
The 7th Room by Snøhetta
Snøhetta’s charred-timber treehouse is the latest edition to the Treehotel, and is also the site’s tallest and largest to date. Completed at the end of 2016, it is anchored to the trunk of a pine tree and features a net terrace that allows guests to sleep under the stars.
The Mirrorcube by Tham + Videgård Arkitekter
Reflective glass walls reflect the surrounding foliage to camouflage Tham & Videgård’s cube-shaped cabin. A tree grows through the centre of the birch plywood-lined space built in 2010. The design was so popular the Swedish firm released a flat-pack edition.
The Blue Cone by SandellSandberg
Conversely red in colouring, The Blue Cone is covered in shingles made of laminated birch wood. Designed in 2010 by SandellSandberg, the stilted cabin is linked to the ground by a gently sloping ramp and provides an accessible cabin for guests with disabilities.
The Cabin by Cyrén & Cyrén
A long bridge connects with the roof of The Cabin designed by Cyrén & Cyrén in 2010, which hangs from the trees. Large windows in the ends and flanks of the rectilinear blocks overlook the Lule River valley.
The UFO by Inrednin Gsgruppen
Designed to appear as if a flying saucer has wedged itself among the trees, plans for this cabin were drawn up by Inrednin Gsgruppen while working on The Birds Nest. A retractable staircase leads up through a hatch in the base of the structure, which is moulded from a composite material, into the five-bedroom suite.
The Dragonfly by Rintala Eggertsson Architects
Weighing in at almost 20 tonnes, The Dragonfly cabin designed by Finish architects Rintala Eggertsson Architects in 2013, is supported by six pine trees. The structure is covered in sheets of rusty metal, and contains two bedrooms, a lounge, bathroom and shower.