There comes a time when we remember our childhood and all the foolish games we played. In a way or another, each and every one of us, keeps inside the sunny days, the laughter and the happy simple things, that coloured our lives back then. “Building” your own tree house seemed an important step. Today, the values have changed but the essence remains the same: we all “dream” of designing our dream home. What about blending dreams, those from then and these from now? Meet the Treehouse, a sustainable project,designed by the German firm, Baumraum, in a Flemish forest in Hechtel-Eksel, Belgium.
To start with, the client is a local paper producer, that focuses on finding solutions for environmental problems. Therefore, the Treehouse is not a residential project, but a gathering space for brainstorming and inspiration. Very odd and creative, the stainless steel structure has rounded end walls. To prove its sustainability, a pine tree pierces the metallic staircase structure, right in the middle of it. The house is “suspended” 5 up to 6 meters above the ground. The Treehouse is divided in two separate living spaces: one containing the kitchen, the lounge area and a small bathroom and the other accommodating an area dedicated to meetings. Both spaces are adorned with an interesting painting that spreads all over the walls and ceiling: smooth, semi-transparent branches, that enhance the feeling of freedom and freshness. The windows have wooden frames and the living area is all white. Beautiful and creative, this is the perfect shelter “to give birth” to brilliant ideas.
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests
Inside the school, a wall made of cross-laminated timber separates classrooms from the main corridor, providing a space for storage and study. With very little to work with, the architects have managed to create a building that is much more than just the sum of all of its parts