Dutch arboriculturist Bruno de Grunne and architect Nicolas d'Ursel from Trees and People have invented a new suspension style cabin called Dom'Up. This innovative treehouse draws inspiration from tree camping and traditional treehouse structures. The end result is a tree shelter that's reported easy to install and leaves no trace or impact on its surrounding environment and trees.
Dom'Up features a lightweight 16 sq m (172 sq ft) octagonal platform which is suspended between two trees, utilizing Trees and People's No Trace arboreal fixing system.
"The idea is to use the inner space of the forest, between the trees, rather than the inner space of a single tree which is full of branches and obstacles," de Grunne tells Gizmag. "Using our hanging system, we can distribute the weight of the structure with greater support, while having a lower impact on the trees. In fact, a tree can adapt itself to the constant tension like it does naturally with constant wind and we can achieve zero impact on the landscape. It is much better for the trees to hang treehouses between trees with our No Trace hanging devices, rather than trying to build into one or more trees."
The Dom'Up comes equipped with a UV-resistant double canvas tent shelter, protective roofing made from durable thermo-welded tarpaulin, a large terrace and an open interior space which can be used for a bedroom or living space. By simply moving the bed to the terrace users can enjoy a night under the stars or simply keep the bed inside, zip up the tent and enjoy a cosy night among the treetops.
The structure of the Dom'Up is made from galvanized steel, natural wooden flooring and external railing has been flat fitted around the shelter for additional security. The wooden floor boards can be removed during the winter or rainy periods and easily reinstalled in time for Spring. Access to the treehouse is either by an easy-to-use wooden ladder with hand rails or specifically designed stairs or a suspension bridge, depending on the landscape.
According to de Grunne Dom'Up takes as little as two days to be fully installed and can stay in the trees for years. "The body of the rig has been studied by the well-known engineering company Greisch, to be light, resistant and easy to build or remove, with no need of a crane," says de Grunne. "The overall durability will depend on the weather conditions but the body of the structure can remain for decades and the tent materials for at least ten years.”
With that being said, the ropes and straps of the Dom'Up will need to be replaced every 5 years in accordance with European safety standards. Trees and People are also working on an updated insulated version of the Dom'Up which will feature a firewood heating system and it is hoped to be ready in time for next (Northern) winter.
Dom'Up shelters could make a great addition to the backyard and are suitable for treetop glamping, a treetop office, a treetop resort or even a unique restaurant.
Dom'Up is available for purchase worldwide and can be easily installed by a member of the Trees and People network or any arborist. The cost of the Dom'Up excluding installation is €25,000 (US$28,215).