Almost invisible to the casual observer, the Tree Hotel in Harads, Sweden by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter is a beautiful way to experience nature.
The concept is simple: a hotel room-for-two that has reflective surfaces on all sides to mirror rather than stand out from the surrounding environment – a box suspended in a forested setting with views on all sides and in every direction.
Complete with kitchen, bathroom and sleeping areas as well as a rooftop deck, this is not rugged forest living or duck-blind squatting as the minimalist exterior form might suggest. Guests access the mirrored tree house hotel by rope ladder or bridge.
While the experience of nature is no doubt exciting, is such a building eco-friendly or ecology fad? Tree structures can either work with the natural environment or become essentially tree parasites, slowly killing their hosts. In this case, however, cables help support the structure so it doesn’t put too much strain on the trees around it.
“A shelter up in the trees; a lightweight aluminum structure hung around a tree trunk, a 4x4x4 meters box clad in mirrored glass,” say the architects. “The exterior reflects the surroundings and the sky, creating a camouflaged refuge. The interior is all made of plywood and the windows give a 360 degree view of the surroundings. The construction also alludes to how man relates to nature, how we use high tech materials and products when exploring remote places in harsh climates (Gore-tex, Kevlar, composite materials, light weight tents etc).”
“The functions included provides for a living for two people; a double bed, a small bath room, a living room and a roof terrace. Access to the cabin is by a rope bridge connected to the next tree. To prevent birds colliding with the reflective glass, a transparent ultraviolet colour is laminated into the glass panes which are visible for birds only.”