French design studio Bruit du Frigo has drawn inspiration from fallen down tree trunks, which often provide shelter for small animals, to create an eco-shelter for humans in the forests of Bordeaux. Dubbed Le Tronc Creux, which means "The Hollow Trunk," the low impact shelter is roughly the same size as a shipping container and can easily be transported by truck to different locations when required.
The shelter was built using a metal frame and features thermal insulation made from recycled wool. Both the interior and exterior are covered with wooden panels and the facade has been weather-proofed with a water-resistant membrane. Stepping inside the shelter the facility is quite bare, there is no electricity or access to water, just a quiet space to rest and reflect.
"Le Tronc Creux is a new type of model for a new public exchange. It embodies and promotes the practice of hiking and more widely the rediscovery of the Bordeaux landscape," says Bruit du Frigo.
Accommodating nine guests, the shelter is equipped with three double beds and three single beds. There is a foldable table, camping seats, small porthole-like windows and an an ecological toilet not too far away from the shelter.
From the outside, the shelter appears as if it could easily be pushed and rolled into a new position, not that dissimilar to the Roll It house developed by students in Germany. However, it is much too heavy for such a purpose but no doubt the black wooden cubes which dot the facade encourages kids to climb all over it.
The Le Tronc Creux is one of a series of nine different shelters scattered throughout the hiking area and if you are looking to spend a night in the refuge, guests are advised to book quite early in Spring. Reservations are limited to one night and it's free, but you will have to bring along your own sleeping bags, sheets, candles and food.
The cost to complete the Le Tronc Creux shelter, including materials, design and construction was €55,000 (US$73, 560).