The sign of a good treehouse when you’re a child is if it blends into its surroundings, protecting its occupants from annoying siblings or nagging parents. And the same principles apply to treehouses for adults.
The Embryo Treehouse by British architect Antony Gibbons is a cylindrical two-storey tree dwelling that uses the principles of biomimicry by imitating the organic curves found in nature. The design of the structure gives the illusion that it is almost part of the tree trunk. Clad with cedar shingles to blend the dwelling with its surroundings, the Embryo derives its name from the early stages of development in nature. Through the design, Antony aimed to demonstrate the need to redefine the way we live in today’s society to become more ecological and simple, without consuming the earth’s resources. Antony’s concept for the Embryo is part of a series of designs to try to reconnect society back to nature and encourage a more resourceful use of materials.
The treehouse is attached to the tree using a series of braces that do not interfere with the growth of the tree nor cause damage to the bark of the trunk. The entrance is through a hatch door that leads up to the first floor and then to the second floor via steps that spiral upwards on the internal walls of the cylinder. This allows maximum floor space and makes it capable of sleeping up to eight people. There are three different designs of windows for the structure, which can be custom-made to suit each treehouse depending on the light levels of the surrounding area. Unfortunately the design for the Embryo has yet to be brought to life, but is an encouraging glimpse into the future of sustainable living.