Here's a concept for a forest retreat that's a little different from the norm. Holland's OAS1S has envisioned an eponymous community of dwellings that are covered in greenery and resemble trees. Constructed from recycled wood and operating off-grid with the use of sustainable technology, the whimsical homes – or "treescrapers" – would make walking along your street feel more like a stroll through a forest.
The inspiration for the concept derives from childhood, OAS1S head Raimond de Hullu told Gizmag. "I grew up [in the countryside] in southern Holland and spent much time being in the forest or at the beach. That is why I love nature and when my father started to build a house I fell in love with architecture. I always was fascinated by both and passionate about creating a fusion between both."
Hullu imagines a pedestrian-friendly community, with no cars in sight. Residents would reach their homes by parking on the fringes of the development and taking a stroll through the "forest." An OAS1S community would feature a maximum of 100 houses per hectare (2.47 acres), and include single and multi-family housing, hotel and office space, in addition to leisure and commercial units covered with green roofs.
A typical treescraper would measure 6 x 6 x 12 m (19.6 x 19.6 x 39 ft), and comprise a total floorspace of 160 sq m (1,722 sq ft), split over four floors. The interior would include a dining room, deck, hall and storage area, two bathrooms, a lounge, utility room, and three bedrooms, in addition to a fenced balcony and glass-bottomed hall on the top floor.
Built from recycled wood, each treescraper would be covered in greenery and, in order to operate off-grid, would sport sustainable technology such as solar hot water and electricity panels, a grey water recycling system, triple-glazed windows, and a composting toilet. Electricity derived from the solar panels would be stored in a battery array, and rainwater would be collected for domestic use.
The idea is still very much on the drawing board at the moment, but Hullu imagines his design could be implemented as housing or as an eco-resort. He further states that if he gets the investment required to build it, he would also set up a Community Land Trust to ensure affordable housing.