Are you someone who appreciates the experience of being outdoors, in the wild, surrounded by all the auspices of nature? If so, then the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) based in Sweden has created a truly unique experience that you mustn’t miss in the form of its treehouse-style hotel that is literally covered in birdhouses.
A truly idyllic retreat
This extraordinary place is known as the Biosphere, and is located in the heart of stunning forest in Swedish Lapland, close to the Arctic Circle. It makes up a part of what BIG calls its Treehotel project, and was designed by the same team that delivered Treehotel’s other famous accommodation, the “7th Room”, a huge elevated Nordic cabin concept clad in dark pine, with a net terrace and stunning views of the surrounding forest.
The newest addition is quite different to that one, however, even while sharing the same elevated treehouse-style construction. It sits seemingly suspended in mid-air, in fact held in place with numerous guide wires. Surrounding the accommodation unit are a unique cladding of 350 birdhouses varying in different shapes and sizes and strategically placed with bird feeders to attract a mix of birds, bees, and bats. Behind it all is the sublime idea that guests can experience sleeping in an environment surrounded by the soothing sounds of nature, specifically those of the birds and the bees.
These designs are far from arbitrary, either. The head of the Norrbotten Ornithological Association collaborated on the design to ensure that the birdhouse placement would maximize “attendance” by animals, while minimizing the effects of the unpleasant side-effects such as droppings and unwanted noise. A spokesperson for BIG explained:
“By varying the individual sizes of the bird nests and expanding them outwards and based upon the bird type and frequency in the area, light can enter the interior space whilst maintaining the outwards views,”
Translation: Everything is carefully placed to create balance: between light and dark, between noise and serenity, between close-up and distant views.
Accessing the Biosphere
Those wanting to gain access to the Biosphere need only cross a suspended bridge to get to the entrance. The interior space is 365 square feet and covered in subtle, dark-material surroundings that naturally draw one’s attention to the many windows and glass surfaces to what lies around the space. Besides the large windows, there is glass flooring in parts of the accommodation, as well as a glass ceiling.
The 365 square feet comprises a ground floor area and mezzanine floor. The former contains a seat suspended from the ceiling, as well as a sofa, and a bathroom complete with shower and sauna. A ladder leads to the mezzanine floor where visitors can sleep in the comfortable double bed. Once up there, they can also access a roof hatch that takes them to a terrace where they can enjoy unfettered 360-degree views of the serene forest that surrounds them.
You can learn more about the Biosphere and other BIG treehotel experiences at their website. One night in the Biosphere starts at SEK12,000 (about $1,150), but price is impacted by the time of year, so be sure to inquire about it all ahead of time.