Away from the hustle and bustle of Beijing hides a delightful pair of timber huts designed by Chinese design firm Wee Studio. Dubbed the Treehouse, these peaceful getaways located at the foot of Miyun District’s Mount Wuling were made possible thanks to a successful 2015 crowdfunding campaign. The angular structures were prefabricated off-site and built with recycled timber panels to minimize environmental impact.
Wee Studio’s Treehouse structures aren’t treehouses in the strict sense of the word—the timber huts are elevated, but not onto a tree. The name is likely inspired by its placement inside the grove of five poplar trees and two hawthorn trees. The 8-square-meter prefabricated buildings were built with a steel frame and comprise two polyhedrons connected by a deck.
The larger of the two huts houses a tearoom with tatami flooring and overlooks the adjacent stream through large floor-to-ceiling glazing on the north side. A skylight frames views of the sky and trees and helps make the interior feel larger than its small footprint lets on. The second hut contains the bathroom. The structures are elevated off the ground to minimize site impact and to give the Treehouse the illusion of floating among the trees. The buildings are wrapped in a thermal insulating layer and are heated in winter.
“The building of Treehouse is a practice of Wee Studio about the subtle relationship between nature and inhabitation, as well as an exploration about how to achieve the architecture in the era of internet now,” write the architects. “At the end of 2015, we initiated a crowdfunding on the Internet which had a great response in a short time. More than just about building a Treehouse on our own, the practice is more about inviting more people with same interests into the process of design and construction and having fun with it. The Treehouse is a space where you can communicate with mountain, trees, the sky and stream.”
Images via Wee Studio, © Sun Haiting – RoadsideAlien Studio