Trunk-like Le Tronc Creux shelter sleeps nine in the French countryside


November 12, 2013

Le Tronc Creux, which means "The Hollow Trunk," is a low impact shelter which sleeps nine and is roughly the same size as a shipping container

Le Tronc Creux, which means "The Hollow Trunk," is a low impact shelter which sleeps nine and is roughly the same size as a shipping container

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French design studio Bruit du Frigo has drawn inspiration from fallen down tree trunks, which often provide shelter for small animals, to create an eco-shelter for humans in the forests of Bordeaux. Dubbed Le Tronc Creux, which means "The Hollow Trunk," the low impact shelter is roughly the same size as a shipping container and can easily be transported by truck to different locations when required.

The shelter was built using a metal frame and features thermal insulation made from recycled wool. Both the interior and exterior are covered with wooden panels and the facade has been weather-proofed with a water-resistant membrane. Stepping inside the shelter the facility is quite bare, there is no electricity or access to water, just a quiet space to rest and reflect.

"Le Tronc Creux is a new type of model for a new public exchange. It embodies and promotes the practice of hiking and more widely the rediscovery of the Bordeaux landscape," says Bruit du Frigo.

Accommodating nine guests, the shelter is equipped with three double beds and three single beds. There is a foldable table, camping seats, small porthole-like windows and an an ecological toilet not too far away from the shelter.

From the outside, the shelter appears as if it could easily be pushed and rolled into a new position, not that dissimilar to the Roll It house developed by students in Germany. However, it is much too heavy for such a purpose but no doubt the black wooden cubes which dot the facade encourages kids to climb all over it.

The Le Tronc Creux is one of a series of nine different shelters scattered throughout the hiking area and if you are looking to spend a night in the refuge, guests are advised to book quite early in Spring. Reservations are limited to one night and it's free, but you will have to bring along your own sleeping bags, sheets, candles and food.

The cost to complete the Le Tronc Creux shelter, including materials, design and construction was €55,000 (US$73, 560).

Source: Bruit du Frigo via Designboom

About the Author
Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema. All articles by Bridget Borgobello

Is it me or should there be cannon on the deck between the beds, looks like the cross of a frigate, a log and a WW1 tank project.


I think this is really neat. If one takes out most of the beds, I think there would be room for a bathroom and a small kitchen. I think it would be really cool as a tiny house to live in.


A bit pricy for a woodland shelter. Why not just insulate, fit out and camouflage paint a shipping container for probably under half the cost?

The Skud

send this en masse to the Phillppines they can use these for shelters & storage alone. Mass produce & for US Canada markets too for Vac use.

Stephen Russell

I think a shipping container would be the better option.


pleasing to look at but with no services I do not think of much use as it would have to be placed near to a serviced area, so not that portable, and over priced to be of use in a disaster.


It would be a nice towable camper design. Round off edges, lighten it up.

Layne Nelson

Take out most of the beds, put in a kitchenette, a loo, and a writing desk. . .


That is a whole lotta money!

It is artsy and looks better than a shipping container but did I mention that's a lot of money.

I see the payback is going to take a long time since it's free! (Please no comments if you don't understand a little sarcasm)

Let's see, for $73,500 I'll take none.

Good for those who built it though.

Dr. Veritas
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