Treehouse conference center to inspire sustainable ideas
November 12, 2012
Fancy brainstorming and attending work conferences in a modern treehouse set among the treetops of a pristine forest landscape? Well, four Belgian companies Sappi, The Flemish Forest and Nature Agency, Hechtel-Eksel and Proximity have made it possible by commissioning the construction of a modern treehouse conference center. The “Treehouse” was built by German architectural studio Baumraum, who created the Entre Cielos Treehotel we covered earlier this year and while we also loved the British Eco-Perch, this treehouse project has given us some serious office envy!
Located in the forests of Hechtel-Eksel, Belgium the Treehouse is essentially a stylish meeting room in the treetops. The center features two large wooden eco-cabins which sit on different levels and are connected by a series of outdoor terraces and walkways. A winding staircase wraps its way around tree trunks to provide access to the center, while the overall structure sits on top of 19 angled steel stilts.
The main upper cabin can accommodate up to 25 people and is dedicated to conference meetings and other events. The lower cabin is furnished with a coffee lounge, pantry, restroom and technology room. While the Treehouse is not fitted with desks or projection screens or even office chairs, it does hope to offer a space for thinking. With that being said we think the Treehouse model could definitely work as an everyday office space or even as a backyard guest house.
“The sustainable features of the treehouse include good eco-insulation and a very good heating system,” Baumraum’s senior architect Andreas Wenning told Gizmag. “And we only used FSC [Forest Stewardship Council] or PEFC [Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification] certified Wood.”
The new environmental technologies applied for the cabin’s heating and cooling systems utilize a heat pump unit that is located in an underground space. The unit extracts heat from the air which is then transported through tubes leading through one of the steel columns and into the cabin space. The result is a low temperature heating system that provides a mild climate and minimal energy costs. The same system also works fluidly for cooling the cabins during the summer time. To further minimize the energy consumption all lighting has been fitted with LEDs.
Wenning also promises that there will be more fascinating treetop projects to come from Baumraum, including a treetop day spa. “We are going to build a high nature observation tower here in Germany,” said Wenning. “And a big sauna relax room in the trees!”
The Treehouse center in Belgium will open its doors to companies or non-profit organizations wishing to use the space to discuss green ideas. Reservations will be available from the 15th November 2012 and in return companies renting the space are asked to share their eco-friendly findings on the dedicated Treehouse online platform.