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This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

Norway Architecture News - Jan 7, 2021 - 16:04   16047 views

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

Norwegian architecture studio Helen & Hard has designed a small nest that is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in a forest in Odda, Norway

The project, named Woodnest Cabin, has been developed in respond to the existing site's conditions to have a special experience connecting human bodies to nature.

Covering only a 15-square-metre area, the project stemmed from the client’s wish to create a unique spatial experience that connects to both the ordinary and extraordinary sensation of climbing and exploring trees. 

In response to the brief, the studio intended to create a space that truly embodies what it means to dwell in nature.  

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

The challenging point of the project is its structural construction. The cabin is only supported by one quite narrow tree, without additional columns or using several trees. 

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

Secondly, providing an efficient thermal comfort within the cabin is another challenging part as the cabin is supported by a growing, living tree. Also, a rather unusual building application, governmental approval, and HVAC solutions were challenging, as the studio highlights.

The cabin is constructed around a steel pipe, cut in halves, and then attached together again around the tree with four penetrating bolts. This became a rigid "backbone" to build the rest of the cabin from. 

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

The architects used the bridge and two steel wires to fix the tree horizontally so that all the weight only goes vertically down the trunk and no excentric loads. Around the backbone, space is constructed by double plywood ribs in a radial shape which defines the enclosed space.

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

The depth of the load-bearing ribs becomes the insulating layer around the nest. For the façade of the cabin, it has a protective skin of shingles of heartwood pine, which weather over time to merge and blend with the natural patina of the surrounding forest. 

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

In the interior, the room is covered with panels from black alder which gives the space a refined, warm atmosphere.

"The steep forested hillsides around the Hardangerfjord above Odda is the location of two Woodnest treehouses," added the studio. 

"The architecture is a specific response to the topography and conditions of the site itself." 

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

"Inextricably crafted from nature, each treehouse is suspended 5-6m above the forest floor and fastened with a steel collar to the individual trunk of a living pine tree."

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

Site plan

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

Site plan - close

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

Plan

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

Section

This small nest by Helen & Hard is supported by trunk of a living pine tree in Norwegian forest

Axonometric structure diagram 

Helen & Hard was founded in Stavanger, Norway in 1996, and now has offices in Stavanger and Oslo.

Project facts

Project name: Woodnest Cabin 

Architects: Helen & Hard

Size: 15m2 

Location: Odda, Norway 

Date: 2020 

Manufacturers: aaneslandfrabrikker, nolimitation

Lead Architects: Reinhard Kropf, Dag Strass, Simon Bauman

Structure Engineer: Nordplan, Oddvin Myklebust

All images © Sindre Ellingsen

All drawings © Helen & Hard

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