Danish architecture student and interior designer Konrad Wójcik has devised a concept for a prefabricated tree house that would leave no environmental footprint.
The project, dubbed Primeval Symbiosis (Single Pole House), was designed as part of the d3 Natural Systems 2013 international architectural design competition, which asked designers to create innovative sustainable proposals that study intrinsic environmental geometries, behaviours, and flows.
The home’s designer was inspired after studying the functionality and structure of different types of trees.
“For most animals, trees are the best natural shelters against predators, moisture and weather. Studying its nature allowed me to come up with ideas and solutions to create a completely self-sufficient construction,” he said.
The name Primeval Symbiosis refers to the connection between the house and its natural environment.
At present, traditional housing developments and urban sprawl necessitate massive deforestation around cities and urban areas. While some recent projects are making partial efforts to reduce deforestation, Wójcik’s idea proposes to eliminate deforestation by creating houses that can adapt to the existing landscape without leaving any footprint at all.
The pyramid-shaped building is 16.64 metres high and features only 61 square metres of floor space spread over four levels. The entrance is through an automatic folding metal ladder that connects the ground level to the first level, which is five metres up above the ground.
Levels are divided according to their functions; the bottom floor is the entry level and features access to the house, a mudroom, a storage area and a technical area. Level 1 is the ‘day level’ where the kitchen, living/dining area and the bathroom are located; level 2 is the mezzanine ‘work level’ featuring a desk and a storage area; and level 3 is the ‘night level’ or sleeping area.
Inside the house, alternating tread wooden stairs helps to save space and ensure the interior areas step around the ‘technical core’ of the dwelling, which is like the trunk of a tree, offering structural support.
The structure itself consists of a light wooden frame built around the central pole, and the exterior walls/roof are covered in black Zink, a 100 per cent recyclable material that is highly resistant to weather extreme conditions. Windows are triple glazed to meet the standards required for passive heating and cooling, helping to make the house energy efficient.
The house’s exterior includes 40 square metres of solar panels and the house was designed with a 25 degrees slope to maximise its efficiency. The façade also features a natural ventilation system, while below the entry level, a rain water storage tank holds enough water to meet the needs of the house’s occupants.
The Primeval Symbiosis model aims to remind people that nature is wise and that trees serve a purpose, while deforestation hinders the world from an environmental standpoint. The ultimate goal behind this idea is to create a community of these homes that can be located in any natural landscape, nullifying the need for massive deforestation and leaving zero carbon footprint.