Just 20 minutes from the town of Odda, through the steep Norwegian hillsides, something magical sits at the edge of the fifth-longest fjord on Earth. Two suspended treehouses are built 5 to 6 meters above the forest floor and fastened with steel collars to the individual trunks of two living pine trees. The treehouses, known collectively as Woodnest, were created by Helen & Hard Architects in response to the topography and conditions of the stunning site for a client who wanted to form a deeper connection with nature.
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Completed in 2020, each treehouse is connected to the ground via a small timber bridge. Each treehouse measures just 15 square meters and is carefully constructed around the central tree trunk. There are four distinct sleeping areas, a bathroom and an open kitchen and living space as well as breathtaking views across the forest, down to the Hardangerfjord water below and toward the mountains in the distance.
According to the architects, the use of timber as a building material is inspired by the Norwegian cultural tradition of using wood in architecture along with the desire to experiment with the material’s potential. Each structure is supported by the tree trunk and a series of glue-laminated timber ribs, while untreated natural timber shingles help create a protective skin around the treehouse. As time progresses, the timber will weather, merging further with the forested surroundings.
With sweeping windows that wrap around the entire building and out toward the fjord, the treehouse allows people to slow down and appreciate the true, natural beauty around them without the distractions that come from a contemporary vacation home. In this chic, minimalist treehouse, which is elevated off the just ground enough to feel as though you’ve become one with the forest, we can’t think of a better place to get away from it all.
Photography by Sindre Ellingsen via Helen & Hard Architects