Architecture

Tree-hugging luxury hideaway overlooks breathtaking Norwegian fjord

Tree-hugging luxury hideaway o...
Woodnest is raised roughly 5.5 m (18 ft) above the forest floor
Woodnest is raised roughly 5.5 m (18 ft) above the forest floor
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Woodnest offers views of a nearby fjord and mount the Hardangerfjord in Odda, Norway
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Woodnest offers views of a nearby fjord and mountainscape
Woodnest is raised roughly 5.5 m (18 ft) above the forest floor
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Woodnest is raised roughly 5.5 m (18 ft) above the forest floor
Woodnest is located in a forest near the Hardangerfjord in Odda, Norway
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Woodnest is located in a forest near the Hardangerfjord in Odda, Norway
Woodnest is accessed by a footbridge
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Woodnest is accessed by a footbridge
"The steep forested hillsides around the Hardangerfjord above Odda, is the location of two Woodnest treehouses," says Helen & Hard
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"The steep forested hillsides around the Hardangerfjord above Odda, is the location of two Woodnest treehouses," says Helen & Hard
Woodnest is supported by a single living pine tree that grows through its center
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Woodnest is supported by a single living pine tree that grows through its center
Woodnest measures just 15 sq m (161 sq ft)
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Woodnest measures just 15 sq m (161 sq ft)
Woodnest's interior decor consists of simple unfinished wood
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Woodnest's interior decor consists of simple unfinished wood
Woodnest's exterior is partly finished in timber shingles
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Woodnest's exterior is partly finished in timber shingles
"The journey to the site begins with the 20 minute walk from the town of Odda, on the edge of the fjord and up through the forest via a steep winding path," says Helen & Hard
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"The journey to the site begins with the 20 minute walk from the town of Odda, on the edge of the fjord and up through the forest via a steep winding path," says Helen & Hard
Woodnest consists of a glulam timber structure and features generous glazing that frames the view and ensures natural light illuminates the interior
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Woodnest consists of a glulam timber structure and features generous glazing that frames the view and ensures natural light illuminates the interior
If you'd like to stay in the Woodnest, it'll set you back NOK 2800 (over US$300) per night, based on two people
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If you'd like to stay in the Woodnest, it'll set you back NOK 2800 (over US$300) per night, based on two people
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Helen & Hard has designed a particularly stunning treehouse in rural Norway. Named Woodnest, the forest dwelling is supported by a living pine tree that runs through its center, and it offers a well-stocked interior that sleeps up to four people.

The Woodnest shown is one of a pair of identical treehouses situated in a forest near the Hardangerfjord in Odda, Norway. It consists of a glulam (glued-laminated timber) frame that's fastened to the trunk of a pine tree with a steel collar. The tree runs through the center of the interior, rather like Ethan Schlussler's amazing treehouse, and exits through the ceiling. The firm told us that there's a little extra space for the tree to expand in width as it continues to grow in height. The exterior is finished in timber shingles.

"The steep forested hillsides around the Hardangerfjord above Odda, is the location of two Woodnest treehouses," says Helen & Hard. "The architecture is a specific response to the topography and conditions of the site itself. Inextricably crafted from nature, each treehouse is suspended 5 - 6 m [16 - 19.6 ft] above the forest floor and fastened with a steel collar to the individual trunk of a living pine tree.

"Stemming from the client’s wish to create a unique spatial experience that connects to both the ordinary and extraordinary sensation of climbing and exploring trees, our aim was to create a space that truly embodies what it means to dwell in nature."

Woodnest offers views of a nearby fjord and mount the Hardangerfjord in Odda, Norway
Woodnest offers views of a nearby fjord and mountainscape

The treehouse is accessed by a small timber bridge and has a total floorspace of just 15 sq m (161 sq ft). It contains a bathroom with shower, sink and flushing toilet, a kitchenette, and a living room with views of the fjord below and mountains beyond. Additionally there is sleeping space for up to four people.

Despite its rural setting – it's reached by walking for around 20 minutes from the nearest town – both the Woodnest and its identical counterpart do boast some modern home comforts. These include a standard mains electricity hookup, Wi-Fi, underfloor heating, hot water, and a fridge. They're also available for bookings and if you'd like to stay in one it'll set you back from NOK 2800 (roughly US$310) per night, based on two people.

Source: Helen & Hard

View gallery - 12 images
5 comments
guzmanchinky
Oh that is stunning
buzzclick
Having had interest in tree houses, I see that this lovely design sits in a beautiful setting near the coast. Here's the rub. When it gets windy (and it does), it's gonna sway from side to side because there doesn't seem to be any guy wires to stabilize it. To be inside during windy conditions may not be pleasant, and since it's so top-heavy, feel precarious and uncomfortable. That being the case, the repeated sway over the course of time will put an unusual stress to the single pine, which isn't that old. This will not be a happy tree. It may die a slow death in 5-10 years. It needs to be stabilized at least.
Dan Lewis
I'd like to see the steel collar this tree house relies on.
Worzel
I agree the location is superb, but that looks like a very large load, on a very slim tree. That load may prove to be a disaster waiting to happen in the next storm, when the wind loading exceeds the ability of the tree to resist it. It might have been prudent to put a similar structure suspended between three or more trees, for safety. If the tree topples with a full load of residents, the disaster could also become a small massacre, as the whole assembly tumbles down that very steep hillside. In addition, a tree needs sunlight on its trunk for a healthy existence, and in a forest situation, where sunlight is attenuated by other trees, an additional blockage, like this tree house may eventually prove fatal. Finally, a steel collar is likely to strangle the tree fairly rapidly as it grows into it, so this setup has a very short lifespan. A better solution is to pass steel rods through the trunk and fix to those, this allows the tree to expand indefinitely without strangling itself. Architects!
Jay Gatto
CGI, I hope. Those roots are in the top 300mm of soil, on rock, and only span a few metres., Barely enough for pines in a gale, nowhere near enough for this top load.