Lofted high above in the trees, Mathier Collos’ EcoCoon retreats are a conceptual design for prefabricated housing. Each of the London-based architect’s cocoon-like pod is outfitted with an array of sustainable features including rainwater collection, a greywater system, and biomass heating. And depending on the type of tree used and the tree branching density, solar panels can also be integrated to help make these pods as eco-sensitive as possible. The two-story, split-level retreats can comfortably accommodate two adults or a small family and larger models may be able to act as a small, quaint hostel with several guests.
The cocoon is supported by steel suspension cables that are attached to the tree’s stronger branches above. With the tree trunk running through the center of the cocoon, the trunk naturally acts as a hand rail and central divider between the home’s triangular shaped spaces. The polygonal-shaped panels of the EcoCoon make the structure easily assembled on site. Each made of pre-insulated materials with high thermal resistance, the panels are designed to make the interior more comfortable without using a ton of resources.
Much like other retreats, the EcoCoons allow its inhabitants to re-connect to nature. On each level of the shelters, one panel is hinged so it can open up into a terrace while smaller, fixed windows give residents a chance to peek out into the surrounding nature.