There are good reasons for building large singular structures in many cases – and equally compelling justifications in other situations for breaking buildings into smaller pieces and integrating them systematically in their surrounding environment. The case is reinforced when the building systems themselves rely on small-scale green energy strategies.

This go-green approach builds on the classic cabins-in-the-forest model of conventional nature vacations, with a twist: each individual unit is carefully lofted and connected to a tree. Some will argue that hanging a building from living branches is never truly sustainable, but the same can be said for setting a structure on top of (or into) the earth as well.

The driving idea behind these EcoCocoons by Mathier Collos is one of self-sufficiency and sustainability for those who wish to retreat from the world and engage with nature more directly. A family might stay in one, or split off between various modules, each with its own unique configuration and layout based on a combination environmental and residential demands.

This multi-story solution has flat-panel sides with embedded photovalics to capture sunlight, powering each unit independently. Each roof filters water down for natural rain showers and other basic graywater needs. The approach also disperses load requirements, because while the buildings may have no literal footprint they do still have some impact on their organic host.

Still, like any beautifully drawn and idealized design – eco-friendly or otherwise – it has some structural faults that will be difficult to resolve, such as the interior exposure to a physical tree – presumably, some kind of physical separation would be necessary to keep at least some of mother nature’s elements and creatures from slowly creeping inside. For now, it is a cool concept with pretty pictures – someday, hopefully, you will be able to sleep in one of these when it is a well-resolved, real-life built object.