Bizarre treehouse surrounds hotel guests with feathery friends
The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has produced more than its fair share of out-of-the-box designs, but the firm's latest project is one of its most unusual in some time. Looking a bit like a large round pinecone among the trees, the Biosphere will consist of a small treehouse-style hotel room with an exterior that's covered in 350 birdhouses.
Biosphere has the look of one of those projects that'll never actually be realized, but it is indeed being created for the Treehotel project in Swedish Lapland, near the Arctic Circle. The site showcases bespoke hotel rooms by some of Scandinavia's most respected architects, such as Snöhetta and Tham & Videgård. BIG's contribution is designed in collaboration with Treehotel's organizers, as well as Swedish ornithologist Ulf Öhman.
The retreat will be raised above the ground using existing pine trees in the remote forested site and will be accessed by a suspended bridge. It will feature a mostly glazed exterior, which will be broken up by the wooden birdhouses of varying size and shape, carefully chosen to be suitable for different types of birds.
The interior will measure a snug 34 sq m (365 sq ft) and is reminiscent of BIG's A45 tiny house with its tasteful dark hues and carefully considered space-saving furniture. It will include a sofa and hammock chair on the ground floor, as well as a bathroom and basic kitchenette, while a mezzanine bedroom will be accessed by ladder.
One potential issue is that all those birds will presumably mean a lot of bird poop nearby too, but BIG has looked into it and expects the exterior to remain mostly clean.
"I got to spend a few days and nights in some of the Treehotel rooms right before the pandemic, and left with a sense of rejuvenation from complete immersion into nature," said BIG founder Bjarke Ingels. "I couldn't help wondering if there was a way to take the immersion one step further – and almost instantly the idea of inviting not only the human visitors but also the resident bird and bat population to cohabit a spherical swarm of nests came to life. After our first conversations with Ulf Öhman from Norrbotten Ornithological Association we were relieved to learn that birds don't drop where they nest – so there is hope for the glass to remain clear within this cloud of aviary architecture."
Biosphere is expected to be completed and open for visitors later this year, when it will cost SEK12,000 (roughly US$1,260) per night, including breakfast for two.