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Interview With Bertil Harström

Transforming the childhood dream of living in a tree house into creating real sky rooms: Architect Bertil Harström, jointly responsible for the stunning Swedish Treehotel, gives us an insight into eco design accommondations, perched at dizzy heights.

Interview With Bertil Harström

A tree house is not just a children’s habitat, instead still remains a dream for grownups. Where do you think does this fascination for nature houses has its origin in?
I really think it’s about human relation to nature. Even if we have been living in urban environment for generations, we still have a connection to nature.So when you see the Bird’s Nest, it will bring you a reflection from the past. Both from your childhood when you were allowed to play and use your fantasy, but also from the past when human was a natural part of nature.

 

FT_©-Peter-Lundstrom-(5)-

All Credits: Peter-Lundstrom

What is the idea behind your interpretation of a tree house, the so called “Bird’s nest”? Is it still pending with the typical idea of a tree house?
In the program for Treehotel one of the fundament was to act with responsibility for nature. So the way I was thinking was: What could be the most predictible thing to find in the forest? For me it was a bird’s nest - a perfect building made of material from the surroundings; material that will slowly disappear after using without any problem for nature. The aspect of creativity and fantasy was also important. I chose to start my work with a children’s perspective, but soon found that it’s really attractive to all of us. I also designed the UFO room for Tree Hotel and then asked the opposite question: What would be the most unpredictable thing to find in the forest?

 

A house built high up in the air has of course its special challenges. What is the most difficult part regarding to statics and design in comparison to a ground leveled hotel?
The first question was: Is it possible without hurting the trees? We learned that it can work, if you can manage the changes that happen when the tree grows. So we developed an adjustable detail that could handle that problem. Then we had to ask ourselves: How strong is a tree? How much weight can it carry? The answer was about 15 ton. But then you must consider additional factors like the movement by wind etc. And the most important detail: How to reach the hotel up in the trees? My solution was an electric staircase that is invisible when not in use.

 

FT_©-Peter-Lundstrom-(3)-

 

Are tree hotels in your opinion just a temporary phenomenon or timeless?
Hopefully a signal of our steps to a better world, where we take responsibility for coming generations.

 

Could you reveal to us the current international trends in hotel design? What is most important from the perspective of hotel guests and what do hotel owners look for?

I could think of originality; a place where guests are offered something extra. It would be really nice, if the place reminds of the current world situation. Overall everything must be implemented in a concept that is attractive to hotel guests.

 

FT_©-Peter-Lundstrom-(1)-

 

Do you personally have a tree house in your garden?
So far only for the birds.

 

Does a tree hotel have its overall nature concept?
Perhaps it could be developed in that direction, if you link it the right way. Then perhaps it could be a useful tool for saving nature. One strong part of it is the connection between generations, which is actually strengthened that way.

03 / 05 / 2011 // by LigaStudios Team

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