Northern Sweden is known for its natural beauty, expansive forests, and distinctive biosphere. Strong climatic contrasts through the seasons have required highly resilient architectural types, incorporating the local materials of wood and stone. The Treehotel in Swedish Lapland, is known for its broad variety of cabins, with each cabin having a distinct identity that reacts differently with the forest.
Envisioned by Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in close collaboration with Treehotel and Swedish ornithologist Ulf Öhman, the new hotel room Biosphere will bring 350 bird houses to the renowned accommodation unit. Suspended in the Harads pines, BIG’s experiential design is the eighth hotel room on the property and seeks to enhance the surrounding biosphere.
By designing a treetop hotel room with a façade of bird nests, the aim of Biosphere is to decrease the downward spiral of the bird population in the Swedish woods and instead strengthen the biosphere and natural habitat.
“Inventories in Norrbotten County, carried out both by us as ornithologists and by the County Administrative Board, show that a number of different bird populations are decreasing. Forestry has led to a reduced number of natural holes in trees where breeding bird nests. The installation of bird nests is therefore an important measure to take. Furthermore, climate change leads to the insect boom happening earlier in the year, and by the time the birds’ eggs hatch, the boom has already passed. Feeding is an important support mechanism for the birds that stay in Northern Sweden and require food during winter. Demonstrating the use of bird nests and feeding, not just at the Treehotel but for people to install near their own homes, is valuable. An initiative from Treehotel to take such measures may inspire their visitors to do the same,” explains Ulf Öhman, chairman of the Norrbotten Ornithological Association.
Biosphere is accessed via a suspended bridge that slopes from the ground to the top of the trees. The interior of the 34m2 hotel room incorporates rich dark interiors and organic materials inspired by the surrounding landscape, which further serve to reinforce the visitors’ gaze outwards and to focus on the natural beauty of the surroundings.
The interior is simple and pragmatic, yet due to its checker solid-open conceptual make-up, allows for a range of experiences within a relatively small space. Visitors have access to a roof terrace – close to the treetop canopies – that offer a 360-degree views of the forest. 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 is able to enter the interior space whilst maintaining the outwards views.
Through wrapping the new hotel room in an ecological habitat, guests are provided the opportunity to experience birdlife in close proximity and exist in the epicenter of nature unfolding. Surrounded by subtle bird song – balanced by the exterior triple glazing façade – guests are provided with an intimate, immersive nature experience.