Treehouses come in a range of sizes and shapes -- and sometimes, they aren't built in a tree at all. Rather, they might be elevated off the ground, where these small but often well-built gems provide a perch to look out to nature.
In a rural village in Yuyao, China, one such non-tree treehouse has been built; done as a vacation home, Treewow Villa O by Shanghai-based architecture firm MONOARCHI sits above an old canal, surrounded by bamboo forests. Topped by an distinctive, undulating roof, the villa blends into its environment with it use of natural materials.
Standing 8 metres (26 feet) high, or about as high as the size of mature bamboo, the treehouse is supported by steel columns below, minimizing its environmental impact and freeing up more usable outdoor space underneath.
The main structure is made mostly of wood, and the roof itself consists of 57 red cedar trusses of various thicknesses, in order to create a form that is based on three concentric circles. The result is a structure that's informed by both new and traditional, local building techniques, as the architects note:
The crude hand construction of traditional dwellings is different from fine production under standardization and industrialization. The fluctuating roof is not an arbitrary fantasy of the architect. The non-linear eave has extremely high error-tolerant rate, which can be considered as a respect of rural construction to natural laws. During the design and construction process, the architect remained close communications with local craftsmen to achieve a balance between the design form and local construction skills.
The interior is well shaded thanks to the overhanging roof, and the floor plan spirals in from more 'public' zones such as the living room, and into more 'private' areas like the bedroom and bathroom. A curved staircase leads up to the rooftop terrace that offers a view of the sky and the rest of the natural landscape.
Compact but topped with an intriguing, hat-like roof, this treehouse villa is a tranquil retreat that looks out to the trees for rest and relaxation. To see more, visit MONOARCHI.