EcoGoons? Come down from the trees!

In various mostly-European projects, we’ve been noticing that trees are coming under assault from presumably well meaning tree-hugging architects. Four of the more visible cases in recent months:

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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.

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Nestled amidst lush pine and magnolia trees, this treehouse from Baumraum updates a traditional backwoods form with a sharp modern profile. The quadratic cube is supported by two high-quality steel frames and features a terrace and an outdoor shower. The interior is outfitted with a full set of modern features including a stereo system, heating, and large windows that contribute ample amounts of natural light, making it a perfect place to enjoy the outdoors no matter the season.

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As a nod to childhood treehouses and those good old days of youthful splendor, Dustin Feider obsessed himself with developing the perfect eco-friendly version of the tree sanctuary. After much trial and error, the 23-year old freelance furniture designer came up with a unique and green take on the conventional kiddie sanctuary which he dubbed the O2 Sustainability Treehouse. Inspired by the construction of Buckminster Fuller’s infamous geodesic dome, Feider discovered that by following Bucky’s lead, he could use less material and construct a more stable structure than that of the ‘traditional’ treehouse – most importantly, without at all harming the tree.

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Mitchell Joachim insists that his plans are not futuristic. As the Executive Director for Terreform, a “philanthropic design collective,” he is responsible for progressive solutions for current problems. Save for the overt reliance on CGI imagery, the plans he presented at Postopolis! seem robustly conditional on collective goodwill, but still grounded on hard statistics and grounded feasibilities.

Is there a good reason for all this? Judge for yourselves, in this video where Joachim explains the imperative for hugging trees so closely.

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