Bremen-based design studio Baumraum built this incredible treehouse retreat in Hechtel-Eksel that acts as an international conference center where businessmen and scientists can meet up and discuss sustainability. The eco-friendly treehouse bridges the gap between economy and ecology and encourages major stakeholders in the battle for sustainability to adopt an environmentally-conscious attitude and incorporate it into their daily activities.
The project is a joint initiative between Sappi, an international paper producer, its communications agency Proximity, the Flemish Forest and Nature Agency and the city of Hechtel-Eksel, Belgium. Initially designed as a single sheet of paper that encloses both interior and exterior spaces, the building consists of two cabins on different levels, connected by terraces and a central staircase. The lower cabin is reserved for informal activities and auxiliary functions, comprising a coffee lounge, pantry, restroom and technology room. The upper cabin functions as a meeting place, hosting different events related to sustainability issues.
The treehouse uses existing supplies of the adjacent museum for air conditioning; an underground heat pump extracts heat from the air in wintertime, while cooling it in the summer. Resting on 19 angled steel stilts – with minimal impact on the forest floor, this small retreat has a combination of features that make is both eco-friendly and inspirational.