The folks from Dass Architecture believe that tree houses are magical pieces of architecture that cause us to reflect on nature, and they designed the experimental TreeHotel in Portugal to explore new, sustainable ways of imagining these wondrous micro spaces. After serving as a "hotel" during Experimenta Design09, the TreeHotel toured Portugal before finally landing at the Jardin de Estrela in Lisbon where it stands today. The project is a stellar example of efficient, flexible, prefabricated design that generates awareness of new materials and technologies, and it has received numerous prizes including the Larus Architecture Award in 2010.
Although the TreeHotel is tiny, cutouts in the timber shell give it an airy, light-filled expansiveness. The inside bedroom is accessed by a small ladder that also leads to a roof, which doubles as a deck from which to enjoy the surrounding greenery. Finding new materials and technologies is at the heart of what Dass strives to achieve as they imagine how humanity will evolve from our dense urban existence back into a civilization in a more natural environment.
While very little detail is shared about which components of the cubic structure are comprised of new or recycled materials, we do know that the designers consulted with biologists and landscape and construction firms to come up with the most efficient use of natural resources. We absolutely love tiny buildings, and that feeling flourishes with every new micro design project featured on Inhabitat.