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Hotels: Tree Hotel

May 08, 2013 /

Harads, Sweden

tree-hotel-Mirrorcube-bridge-tham-videgaard.jpgExterior view of the bridge. Photo by Åke E:son Lindman, Lindman Photography 

By Eva Bjerring

Now, this is a hotel, worth traveling for! Not just for the fun of sleeping in the trees, but because it is also great architecture. Tree Hotel is a bundle of rooms literally up in the trees situated in the far northen forrests of Sweden.

So far five very different rooms have been built, each designed by different local architects such as Tham & Videgård, Inredningsgruppen, SandellSandberg and Cyrén & Cyrén.
    

Last stop before wilderness

Imagine, after a long day's car ride arriving in a beautiful, remote forest area in the far north of Sweden, close to the artic circle, and so far from the city buzz that your heart rate drop instantly. The sun is setting and then - just when the cold night crawls under your skin - there up in the tress, a dim and warm light welcomes you.

The idea behind Tree Hotel sprang as a response to the growing interest in the wild nature and ecotourism in the region and functions as a last outpost on the border between cultured society and an untouched natural environment.

This cross-section is also the bearing design idea of one of the architecturally speaking most interesting rooms: the Mirrorcube by Swedish architects Tham & Videgård

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View from below. Photo by Åke E:son Lindman, Lindman Photography 
    

Into nature with a mirroring attitude

The Mirrorcube is 4x4x4 meter of mirrored glass reflecting the surroundings, inscribing itself into nature so delicately silent it is hard not to get embarrassed when thinking of all the other noisy architectural trials into the discipline of 'forest hotel.'

Resting on a lightweight aluminium structure, attached to a single tree, the mirrored hotel is a camouflaged refuge. However at the same time it is a futuristic and contemporary take on how to interconnect nature and architecture, without reducing or highlighting one over the other.

The Tree Hotel has a simple and delicate grip with a strong architectural identity, underlined by the cool surface, at night broken by the warm light flowing through the medium transparency of the class. It is high tech in harsh climate at its best.

To prevent accidents with birds on the move a special infrared film visible only to the birds has been applied to the glass.
    

360 degrees view

Nesting 6 meters above ground without the risk of snapping branches is a fun and breathtaking experience worth skipping over the traditional crampy scout's tent. Upon arrival you get a full bird's eye 360 degree's view of the breathtaking nature.

To access the room you will have to climb the rope ladder attached to the adjacent tress, so this room is probably to be preferred by well balanced guests.

Clad in plywood the cabin offers the modern amenities such as a king size bed, a small kitchenette, bathroom, living room, a roof terrace and even heated floors filling the room with a scent of warm wood.

The feel of the room is intimate coziness with the Scandinavian tone of simplicity, functionality and quality. Any fan of refined humility would feel at home straight away.

Everything was installed by local entrepreneurs, and is eco-friendly and locally limiting the hotel's carbon footprint to a minimum.
    

Britta's Pensionat

The Tree Hotel is run by the two passionate owners Britta and Kent Lindvall from the charming Britta's Pensionat, or guesthouse. It is in Britta's Pensionat you check in, find the common facilities and dine in the 1950's inspired settings. And when you feel weary from all that nature and find it hard let go of the modern technologies it is here you drop in for a sofa, TV and WiFi.

From here you can also book a wilderness walk or just get a good talk with the owners and the other guests all year round in any weather. To spice things up it is also possible to get heated the real Sami way in the tree sauna designed by Bertil Harström from Inrednings-gruppen, the architecture firm behind several of the Tree Hotel's other rooms.

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Exterior view. Photo by Åke E:son Lindman, Lindman Photography 

tree-hotel-Mirrorcube-exterior-view-tham-videgaard.jpg
Exterior view. Photo by Åke E:son Lindman, Lindman Photography 

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Night view. Photo by Åke E:son Lindman, Lindman Photography 

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Interior view. Photo by Åke E:son Lindman, Lindman Photography 

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Interior view. Photo by Åke E:son Lindman, Lindman Photography 

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Interior, section. Photo by Åke E:son Lindman, Lindman Photography 

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Axonometry. Drawing courtesy Tham & Vingård Architects

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Site plan. Drawing courtesy Tham & Vingård Architects

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Entrance plan. Drawing courtesy Tham & Vingård Architects


Mirrorcube facts

Client: Treehotel AB, Britta & Kent Lindvall
Architect: Tham & Videgård Arkitekter
Structural engineers: SWECO
Builder: Bomek AB
Lightning: Armatur BIRD, design Tham & Videgård for Ateljé Lyktan
Built area: 16 m2
Year: 2010

Watch a short video of the story behind the Treehotel on Vimeo.
     
    

The goal is 24

Alongside the Mirrorcube, you will find:

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Bird's Nest by Inredningsgruppen. Photo by Peter Lundström, WDO

The completely entangled Bird's Nest by Inredningsgruppen, messy in way only nature and very skilled designers can provide. Like a bird's family the Bird's Nest offers room for a family with two children in the coachwork panel decorated room.

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Cabin by Cyrén & Cyrén. Photo by Peter Lundström, WDO

The capsule-like Cabin by architects Cyrén & Cyrén provides a great view of the valley of Luleå River from its wide floor to ceiling window and the roof top terrace.

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The Blue Crone by SandellSandberg. Photo by Peter Lundström, WDO

The Blue Crone by architects SandellSandberg, playfully painted in a screaming red color scaring off any animal on the hiding and yet immensely calm and inviting when you enter the door. Thanks to the access over a wide bridge this room is well suited for people with disabilities. 

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UFO by Inredningsgruppen. Photo by Peter Lundström, WDO

The estranged UFO visiting from Outer Space also by Inredningsgruppen is a complete opposite approach to the Bird's Nest's attempt to morph unseen into the surroundings.

The goal is to expand with another 19 rooms in the future, all designed by different architects.

So now there is (almost) no excuse for getting close to nature even if you're not looking for the great bear seeking adventure!

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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