Neri Oxman, an unconventional architect
Seeing the Northern lights from a tree house
Suspended 10 meters above the ground, the Treehotel 7th room by Snøhetta studio perfectly blends into its natural surroundings
Built around a pine tree and supported by 12 pillars, the ‘7th room’ features a base made of aluminum sheet with a tromp-l’oeil picture of tree-tops seen from below, and a double safe netting to watch the stars comfortably wrapped into your sleeping bag
A hotel room in the Swedish forests, a treehouse equipped with all the comforts, from where to admire the beautiful Northern lights: such is the 7th room designed by Snøhetta studio for Harads-based Treehotel, Lapland. It is, in fact, the seventh room in a very peculiar hotel, opened by Kent e Britta Lindvall in 2010 and made of small tree huts, mini-apartments in the woods, suspended several meters above the ground, each of them the creation of a renowned Scandinavian designer. This newly established room, the highest and amplest of all, has been built around a pine tree and is supported by twelve 10 meters high pillars very similar to Le Corbusier’s famous pilotis, yet with a different function: that of connecting man with nature.
Built as a traditional Nordic refuge, 7th room is one with its natural surroundings. Its pillars relieve the trees from the weight of the building, at the same time lending additional stability to the 40-ton structure, whose internal area covers 55 square meters. At first glance it is not easy to recognize it among the trees, all the more so because the room actually incorporates one in its middle. To increase the room’s camouflaging feel, the entire underside of the building (12x18 sq m) was designed by Snøhetta architects as a “sixth façade” covered by a life size, aluminum cladded photograph of the treetops seen from below, in different shades of grey.
The exterior of this most peculiar treehouse is covered with charred cedar panels, which have been specifically burnt and blackened in order to minimize maintenance. An ample stair leads guests to the 7th room, while luggage can be carried upstairs with the help of a small elevator. The house accommodates up to five people and includes two bedrooms located at opposite sides, a central communal lounge, one bathroom and an outdoor terrace. Not just a customary terrace, though: a safe landing equipped with a double net, incorporating at its center the high pine tree around which the house has been built, especially designed to offer guests the opportunity to lie in their sleeping bags, listening to the sounds of the forest and looking up at the starry sky. Those who wish, instead, to sleep indoors on a traditional bed, will find ample skylights from where to watch an unforgettable Northern firmament.
The room’s biggest window faces north and is located in the living area, specifically named Northern Light Lounge because it directly overlooks the magnificent Northern lights. Interiors feature perfectly Scandinavian-style light warm, luminous and enchanting tones that provide a beautiful contrast with the dark exterior. Ash wood flooring, multi-layer birch walls, custom-designed lamps by Ateljé Lyktan evoke the stylish juxtaposition of light interiors and dark exterior. Contrasts are exclusively relegated to the interplay of different tones: the project, in fact, focuses on a seamless connection between outdoor and interior spaces, between the room and the forest, in order to offer guests an immersive experience into the amazingly pristine Northern nature.
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