Back in March, we reported on plans for a remarkable new treehouse-style hotel by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) that was to be covered in birdhouses. The one-of-a-kind getaway is now complete and has opened to visitors.
The Biosphere is located in a forest in Swedish Lapland, near the Arctic Circle, and is part of the Treehotel project, which is an idyllic rural retreat that hosts several unique boutique hotel suites by top-tier architects, including the 7th Room by Snøhetta.
BIG’s addition is raised above the forest floor using the surrounding trees and some supports, with guide wires helping to keep it in place. Its exterior is clad in 350 birdhouses of varying size and shape, though there are also bird feeders, plus some habitats for bees and bats too, meaning that visitors will likely need to get used to falling asleep to the – hopefully soothing – sounds of the birds and the bees.
The project is designed in collaboration with bird expert Ulf Öhman, chairman of the Norrbotten Ornithological Association, so no doubt the firm has received advice on any potential issues with things like poop and noise. The placement of the birdhouses looks fairly simple but was actually carefully chosen to ensure the optimal light and views, says the firm.
“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 can enter the interior space whilst maintaining the outwards views,” explained BIG. “Through wrapping the new hotel room in an ecological habitat, guests are provided the opportunity to experience birdlife in close proximity, finding themselves in the epicenter of nature.”
The Biosphere is accessed by a suspended bridge and its interior measures 34 sq m (365 sq ft). Its decor and general layout brings to mind BIG’s other experiment with micro-dwellings, the A45, and it features a dark material palette that’s meant to turn eyes outwards toward the natural beauty of the surroundings. The generous glazing will definitely help with this goal and it includes a glazed floor area and ceiling.
The ground floor is taken up by a living area with a suspended seat, plus a sofa, while there’s also a bathroom unit with a shower and sauna available. A ladder leads up to a mezzanine sleeping area that contains a double bed. Additionally, visitors can reach a rooftop terrace (presumably there’s a rooftop hatch installed for access but this isn’t clear) that offers 360-degree views of the forest.
If you’d like to spend a night in the Biosphere, it costs from SEK12,000 per night (roughly US$1,180), depending on the time of year.