Between Alder and Oak

Photo creditsAlasdair Jardine
LocationOsnabrück, Germany

The landscape east of Osnabrück is largely typical of northern Germany: fields, meadows, little woods and no mountains to block one’s view into the distance. The benefits of the landscape in southern Lower Saxony were combined in a particularly attractive way on the client’s property and those in the neighbouring area. Despite a wide range of options, the client immediately favoured a specific place for the treehouse – beside a small stream, between an alder and a mighty, crooked, oak. The space between the two trees, which grew together to form a V, provided the ideal frame for this project.
The client requested that the treehouse cabin be open to the southwest, so that there would be a view of the broad meadow and tree landscape.

The most striking element of the design is the semicircular treehouse with large expanses of glass and windows. Two treehouse terraces on different levels with marked longitudinal alignment are integrated into the living organism of the oak and are penetrated by its branches. On the upper level, protected by the far overhanging roof, is a bench – a picturesque spot for musing, and experiencing the change of the seasons at close range.

The interior, furnished with untreated oak, comprises a spacious bed area, a bench, several large pull-out boxes and a flat sideboard. Bed and bench are covered with light-grey wool felt, and several cushions round out the picture. Thanks to the all-round insulation and a small heater, the treehouse is also an ideal retreat in winter.

Trees an alder and an oak
Height terrace 4 m
Height treehouse and upper terrace 5 m
Bearing structure Suspension from the oak by means of stainless steel cables and textile straps;
The greater part of the treehouse’s weight rests on three conically-shaped sloping supports
Terrace area lower terrace 16,4 qm; upper terrace 4,8 qm
Interior area 9,6 qm
Façade construction from inside to outside: 20 mm oak boarding, untreated: 60 mm wood and steel frames with mineral insulation; wind foil; 20 mm air space;
rounded oak battens 25/44 mm

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