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This Treehouse Hotel Offers a Literal Bird's-Eye View of Sweden

This is not your typical bed-and-breakfast experience.

To build a real Treehotel you need two things: strong, large trees and a good imagination. Both conditions exist in Harads, 50 kilometers from the Arctic Circle. When Treehotel opened its doors in 2010, it was unanimously acclaimed by design and architecture critics. The hotel remains so adored that it’s adding more rooms in 2017.


Who wouldn’t love imaginative architectural marvels high up in the elegant trees of far-away Lapland?

The people behind the concept are Kent Lindvall and his wife, Britta Jonsson, seasoned innkeepers who’ve been running the intimate,1930s-style Brittas Pensionat in Northern Sweden for more than a decade. Guests check into the Treehouse via this unassuming and cozy pensione, which is also where they gather for meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), drinks, sauna, and internet (though there’s WiFi in all the treehouses).

The pair dreamed up the whimsical idea after watching Jonas Selberg Augustsen’s The Tree Lover, a documentary about friendship, philosophy, and treehouses. Inspired to make a little magic of their own in the sky, Lindvall and Jonsson began collaborating with designers on a small collection of treehouses made with low-impact materials and construction techniques, hydroelectric power, combustion toilets, heated floors, and incredible, unobstructed views of nature.

The Mirrorcube room is designed by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter who conceived of a 4x4 box made of mirrored glass, lightweight aluminium, and plywood. The glass is coated with a special transparent ultraviolet film, a color only visible to birds to prevent them from flying into the nearly invisible structure. While birds sidestep the glass cube, humans who stay fall in love with it — and maybe even feel like birds themselves.

The Bird’s Nest can accommodate four people in a cocoon of branches. The designers at Inredningsgruppen wanted the room to blend into its forest surroundings, as developing structures with strong links to their points of origin is a key theme in the firm’s work. The interior of the nest, accessible by an electric ladder, is fitted with light-colored wood and keyhole windows, evocative of what one might find in a bird house.

The UFO is made from a durable composite that makes it extremely lightweight yet incredibly strong. It sleeps two adults and three children, who enter their spaceship through an alien-like ladder staircase that descends to the ground as an exterior light shines a warm, yellow glow below.

Mårten & Gustav Cyrén designed The Cabin, a sleeping capsule with rounded corners, huge windows, and dramatic views of the Lule River. There’s a large viewing deck on the rooftop and a resting nook pushed up against the glass down below.

Closer to the ground, a rustic, laminated birch wood cabin, curiously named The Blue Cone, is accessed via a red bridge from the sloping mountain.

The Dragonfly, the newest addition to the collection and the largest by far, can accommodate four people in two separate bedrooms. The 15-meter-long house is made from weathered sheet metal and wood. Rintala Eggertsson Architects wanted the floating house to blend in with the trees in summer and make a striking accent to the snowy branches in the winter.

Lindvall and Jonsson continue to add rooms with different designers. The Seventh Room, which has been kept slightly under wraps, will have a viewing area — for the Northern Lights — and a "patio" made out of a safety net — for lying face down toward the forest or face up to the sky). It will be available for booking in early 2017.

Photos by David De Vleeschauwer.

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