Treehouses have a way of inspiring the kid in each of us. Whether we climbed to the top of trees as young kids or sat beneath their canopies way back then, trees naturally evoke feelings of wonder and home. Built on a client’s wish to have a cabin that feels like climbing a tree, Helen & Hard designed Woodnest to bring that feeling to life for its residents. Stationed high up in a pinewood forest somewhere in Odda, Norway, Woodnest finds its nesting place 6 meters above the forest floor.

Looking out over the Hardangerfjord, the fifth-longest fjord in the world, Woodnest saddles up next to tall pine trees and forested hillsides with support from a single, narrow tree, reinforced with a steel pipe. Getting the treehouse there was no small feat, however. Woodnest was constructed around the single steel pipe, which Helen & Hard dubs the “rigid backbone” as it supports the whole treehouse. Two steel wires also help to fix the tree horizontally so that Woodnest’s weight is vertically distributed and its load remains leveled.

Blooming from the backbone of the treehouse, double plywood ribs are placed in a radial shape to provide Woodnest with lots of interior floor space, also working as an insulating layer for the cabin. Overlaid on top of the plywood ribs, heartwood pine shingles provide Woodnest with a protective shell, also blending in with the natural patina of the surrounding forest. Inside the treehouse, paneling from black alder trees line Woodnest’s interior and brighten the room for guests to fully enjoy the view of the fjord below the forest. Strapped with a steel collar to the individual trunk of a living pine tree, Woodnest “truly embodies what it means to dwell in nature,” as Helen & Hard describe.

Designer: Helen & Hard

Two treehouses built by Helen & Hard look out over the Hardangerfjord.

Laden with heartwood pine shingles, Woodnest is naturally insulated.

Built around a living pine tree, Helen & Hard were careful to build around the natural landscape with minimal impact on the environment.

Inside, the treehouse is warmed up and coated with black alder panels.

The lighter hue of black alder works to brighten up the inside of Woodnest.

Warm, ambient lighting turns the treehouse into a lantern come dark.

Everything from the outside shingles to the chairs used inside is constructed from wood.

Steel pipes and wires work to reinforce the treehouse’s backbone to securely latch it onto the living pine tree’s trunk.

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