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Treetop Architecture – Treehotel’s 7th room by Snøhetta 0

Q&A with Jenny Osuldsen, project manager at Snøhetta

Photos:  © Johan Jansson

When the “hunting season” for the Northern Lights is at its peak, it would be hard to imagine a more suitable viewing platform for it than the Treehotel in northern Sweden. Their newest “room” was designed by the Norwegian architectural offices of Snøhetta, and it’s the firm’s seventh project in the altogether extraordinary Treehotel complex – staying in it could be rightly called a unique “treetop architecture” adventure.

Winding itself around the trunk of a pine tree, the new room rises above the treetops, ten meters from the ground, with the support of twelve columns.

Intrigued, posed three fundamental questions about this latest project to the architectural offices of Snøhetta, and received the following answers:

Which architectural components should every contemporary-design lover draw their attention to?

The 7th room has many architectural components that may draw the attention of the viewer and the users of the tree room: firstly, it is the notion of the forest as the most important factor. We put emphasis on the site itself by creating views that look into the forest from the treetops when either visiting or staying in the 7th room. We do not suspend the cabin from the trees, but leave the forest almost exactly as it is by only leaving twelve marks in the ground – the columns that hold up the 7th room.

The second feature is the net that embraces the existing pine tree and allows people to stay in the tree crown. You get an amazing view at the height of the tree crown, and can even stay overnight on the net in a sleeping bag, 10m above ground.

The third aspect is that we have created a 6th façade, which is the bottom of the cabin, and exposed it. We took a photograph of the existing forest, at that specific site, before starting the construction of the cabin. The photo was printed in black and white onto 3mm-thick aluminum sheets, which were then mounted on the underside of the building. It became a memory of the forest. It also makes the cabin disappear when you are moving towards and below the cabin.

Which elements are worth drawing attention to in the context of innovations and technology solutions?

With this project, we would like to draw attention to forests as such, and moreover, to the importance of the deep forest of northern Sweden. At the same time, you may want to see it as an innovative way of looking at the underside or the backside of any project or process – by turning it into a new element that mirrors the existing situation, or even better, gives it a completely new meaning by making the project seemingly disappear!

Does this architecture have any secrets? 

The 6th façade can be seen as the hidden secret of the Lapland forest, and a celebration of the silence you may find in the treetops. When the Northern Lights flash over the sky, you are certain that you are part of some time that is bigger than yourself.

Edeforsvägen 2A, 960 24 Harads