Abode in woodland
Fig: 1 - Forests cover 31% of the Earth’s land surface supporting many species of flora and fauna.
“If you want to live a peaceful life, either bring the forest to your house or your house to the forest”
As humans, we have always found a sense of comfort and affinity towards nature. Since the beginning of civilization we started building homes along the riverside, and do it even today. The ways of connecting have certainly changed considerably with time but our affinity towards nature hasn’t. We still feel the same urge to go out and connect with it.
As no matter how far or up we go there is one thing that doesn’t change. that nature is our prospect. And this is something we all are aware of that the proximity to this prospect has a positive physiological and psychological impact on us.
As if given a choice we all will choose a heavenly abode in the womb of nature rather than any city or urban landscape.
But this is hardly ever a matter of choice. As we don’t choose nature; we are part of it.
Fig: 2 - We are a part of nature (Credits-Esther Tuttle)
Then how is it possible for us; the parts of nature to stay away from it? Well with time we certainly grew as humans and carried out a drastic amount of development in many facets of our life. Let that be from the economical, social or political facet; we changed and changed fast. And this isn’t something which wasn’t supposed to happen just like nature, we did exactly what it does; we changed.
With rapid urbanization and technological development we have settled ourselves away from nature where we are no more ‘In nature’ but rather ‘nature is inside our settlements’. And this change might sound small in words but in reality, has created a huge rift between us. But considering the realistic conditions and constraints of urban life, how can we experience that level of closeness with nature?
If we cannot bring the forest to us; then what do we do?
Can we go there?
Fig: 3 - Treehouses offer a way to experience the forests in an undisturbed manner.
Even though this development has imposed certain constraints on us, it has given us opportunities to visit and stay at places where we never thought we would even be able to live.
Like the forest. No, not outside or on the outskirts of it. But right in the middle of it. How? By building a treehouse. As if we want to experience nature, we have to go and experience it like a part of it. And what can be a better part of nature than a tree?
Brief: The challenge of this competition is to explore and innovate the concept of a treehouse by understanding not just the human requirements of space but also of the tree, and design a treehouse that offers people a place to stay and experience the forest as an integral part of it.
So, through your creativity and imagination, show us how your treehouse looks.
1. Consideration towards nature: The basic requirement is to create a ‘Context Conscious design’ as the main purpose of this competition is to experience nature through close proximity, but without harming/modifying/degrading the forest in any manner.
Understand the context including the types of trees grown, their size, height, width, span. Which can help in estimating the scale of the design.
Find out other general but not specific details about flora and fauna that need to be thought of when building it inside them.
2. Consideration towards humans: The people that are going to visit this place are going to have two main purposes which are mainly: First being in proximity with nature/trek/experience space and second is to stay and experience what it is like to be living on a tree. To understand the basic ancillary facilities that are needed to be provided to have a comfortable experience and explore the kind of design they need in order to experience it from a stationary house.
3. Materials/construction/Technology: Developing an understanding of Local materials and systems that is in tune with nature. A basic structural system is to be proposed that ensures the practical buildability of the structure.
The following objectives can be a point of beginning to conceive this design. The treehouse has to be conceived for 4 people at a time.
The United Kingdom has a total woodland area of about 3.19 million hectares (in 2019). One of the major contributors to woodland development is the major work of planting trees done to replenish the Briton’s forests after the First World War. They took bold steps to make the conservation and replenishing of woodlands a priority.
The fruit of such consistent efforts can be observed in Britain’s most exotic and beautiful forests like Northumberland, Forest of Dean of Gloucestershire, and East Sussex forest to name a few. The site lies in Coleford - a small town that is in the middle of the Forest of Dean.
Site area: 2,200 sqm
Built-up area: is limited within the range of 25 to 100 sq.m.
Height restriction: 5 metres
Coordinates: 51°46'49.0"N 2°36'52.4"W
The treehouse has to be conceived for 4 people at a time. Recreational, observation and play spaces can be included like Bedrooms, Washroom, Sit out spaces, an observation deck, a pantry area, Staircase, and other ancillary spaces required for a treehouse. The participants are free to add other spaces as per their design concept/Idea.