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Bjarke lngels Group (BIG), a multinational architecture and design firm in collaboration with Ulf Öhman, a Swedish ornithologist, has conceptualised a one-of-a-kind treetop guest room for the well-known TreeHotel with a facade comprising 350 bird nests. Titled 'Biosphere', this distinctive guest room is the latest addition to Treehotel in Sweden, which includes individually designed rooms from some of Scandinavia's most renowned architects including Snøhetta, Rintala Eggertsson, and Tham & Videgård, among others. In 2020, founders of the Treehotel—Ident and Britta Jonsson-Lindvall —invited BIG to design the eighth room for the property.
'Biosphere' is a 34m2 hotel room located in a forest of the quaint village of Harads, about 70 minutes from the airport of Luleå, in Swedish Lapland. The goal of this imaginative hotel room, which will be opening to the visitors soon, is to offer guests the chance to completely immerse themselves in nature and to boost the wildlife of the region.
Treehotel's 'Biosphere' is an excellent example of environmentally sustainable architecture and showcases the boundless possibilities in design. The facade of 'Biosphere' will feature 350 bird nests of varying sizes. The bird nests will expand outwards based upon the bird type and frequency in the area, enabling light to enter the interior space. Visitors will get the unique opportunity to closely observe local wildlife in their natural habitat.
"We are very happy to initiate a project together with yet another group of leading Scandinavian architects, the renowned Danish Bjarke lngels Group. This completes our goal of having architects from all Scandinavian countries. We have always depended heavily upon our leading Scandinavian architects, who have helped us build a holistic view - from the little to large details - in the design process. We have been waiting for the right time and the right architecture company for our next step. The fact that our eighth room will be created in collaboration with Danish BIG, at this very point in time, and with a future-focused concept where the natural environment becomes an interactive part of the experience, feels perfect,” explains Kent Lindvall, Founder and co-owner of Treehotel.
Along with helping guests be one with nature, 'Biosphere' will also support Treehotel’s mission of being environmentally sustainable, helping ecotourism and aiding the conservation of the local bird population. The region that the Treehotel is located in is well-known for its surreal natural landscapes, verdant forests and one-of-a-kind ecosystem. The Treehotel’s diverse cabins each have their own identity and interact with the surrounding forest in different ways. In particular, the Biosphere's facade which comprises of 350 bird nests, will help strengthen the bird population and in turn the ecosystem. The founders hope to inspire others in the hospitality industry to make similar efforts.
“Inventories in Norrbotten County, carried out both by us as ornithologists and by the County Administrative Board, show that a number of different bird populations are decreasing. Forestry has led to a reduced number of natural holes in trees where breeding birds nest. The installation of bird nests is therefore an important measure to take. Furthermore, climate change leads to the insect boom happening earlier in the year, and by the time the birds’ eggs hatch, the boom has already passed. Feeding is an important support mechanism for the birds that stay in Northern Sweden and require food during winter. Demonstrating the use of bird nests and feeding, not just at the Treehotel but for people to install near their own homes, is valuable. An initiative from Treehotel to take such measures may inspire their visitors to do the same,” adds Ulf Öhman, Chairman of the Norrbotten Ornithological Association.
'Biosphere at Treehotel will be accessible via a suspended bridge from the ground that will take guests to the top of the trees. The interiors of the guest room will be evocative of the surrounding forest and will feature a dark colour palette and organic materials. The interior of the space will be simple and practical as the focus will be on the glass windows offering panoramic views of the 350 bird nests and the forest beyond.
"I got to spend a few days and nights in some of the Treehotel rooms right before the pandemic, and left with a sense of rejuvenation from complete immersion into nature. I couldn’t help wondering if there was a way to take the immersion one step further — and almost instantly the idea of inviting not only the human visitors but also the resident bird and bat population to cohabit a spherical swarm of nests came to life. After our first conversations with Ulf Öhman from Norrbotten Ornithological Association we were relieved to learn that birds don’t drop where they nest - so there is hope for the glass to remain clear within this cloud of aviary architecture,” adds BIG Founder and Creative Director, Bjarke lngels.
While the interiors of Biosphere will be simple, because of their 'checker solid-open conceptual make-up' they will enable guests to have a variety of experiences within a compact space. Moreover, visitors will have access to a roof terrace that will be in close proximity to tree top canopies and provide spectacular unobstructed vistas of the picturesque natural landscape.
"We designed our addition to the Treehotel — the Biosphere — to create a unique experience for hotel guests, which takes inspiration from the qualities of the surrounding forest and absorbs them into the interior. The ecological response is the driver behind the architectural expression,” concludes Joâo Albuquerque, architect and Partner at BIG - Bjarke lngels Group.
Name: BIOSPHERE, Treehotel
Location: Harads, Sweden
Status: Under Construction
Size: 34 m2
Partner-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, João Albuquerque
Project Leader: Geoffrey Eberle, Angel Barreno Gutiérrez
Project Architect: Francisco Abajo Duran
Team: Eszter Olah, Ragna Nordstrom, Pawel Marjanski
Collaborators: Ulf Öhman, Chairman of the Norrbotten Ornithological Association, Ateljé Lyktan, Vittjärvshus
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