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Bamboo treehouse eco-hotel concept is at one with the birds


July 16, 2014

one with the birds, by Beijing-based architecture and design collective Penda (Image: Penda)

one with the birds, by Beijing-based architecture and design collective Penda (Image: Penda)

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Bamboo is a very versatile material and holds a lot of promise in architecture, as seen by projects like the Blooming Bamboo storm-proof home and the affordable Bamboo Micro House. Another example of this comes via Beijing-based architecture and design collective Penda, and its treehouse eco-hotel concept, dubbed one with the birds.

Penda's treehouse eco-hotel was designed for the AIM Legend of Tent competition. The competition aims to buck the trend of big Chinese building projects by installing low-impact eco-hotels that encourage guests to connect with nature in several key locations in China.

The treehouse draws some inspiration from the Native American Tipi, and like that nomadic structure, is re-usable, adaptable, and leaves no permanent damage when it's time to move on. Indeed, Penda's design brief states that when its hotel has reached the end of its life, it can be easily dismantled, and the bamboo used as scaffolding, or to build another hotel.

The treehouse comprises interconnecting grids measuring 4.7 x 4 m (15.4 x 13 ft), which are made from sticks of bamboo tied together with rope (no screws or nails are used anywhere in the structure). The grids can be easily expanded horizontally or vertically, and multiple modules can be placed within the framework.

Some of the modules proposed by Penda include a 12 sq m (129 sq ft) single tent, a 20 sq m (215 sq ft) toilet, a 100 sq m (1,076 sq ft) lobby, and a two story (62 sq m/662 sq ft) "presidential" tent.

As it's still an early concept, we've no hard information on how Penda would (or even if) any electricity or amenities are provided within its hotel. However, if the design does end up being built, some modest touches of modern-living should be relatively simple to install, with a carefully-placed solar array here, a water catchment system there, and a composting toilet elsewhere – the idea is to connect with nature, after all ...

Sources: Penda, AIM Competition

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

I think that is really cool. I think it is neat since one can be 'one with nature' in an enviromental way.


Birds will kill themselves because of the reflections of trees on the glass surface. Birds will die becoming one with the glass.


Buellrider is right. Typical Eco-arrogance.

Brian Mcc
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