If you were lucky enough to experience a treehouse as a child, you know that these whimsical structures can be the coziest place to spend the day. For those who never got their own treehouse, WH Studio’s Tree House Cabins may be your chance to experience the rustic beauty of treehouses in the mountainous landscape of Hangzhou, China. The resort is designed to blend into the surrounding landscape with clusters of units combined as if built on a single tree.
The firm says that they had to spend time understanding the site and how their project would interact with the natural world. “After careful consideration, we gradually clarified the concept,” explains WH Studio. “It is not the solitary living but the state of gregariousness on the tree that can strengthen the characteristics of nesting the most—a group of cabins landing on the branches emerged as the initial image.” This design iteration led the firm to develop its three main elements: path, platform, and cabin.
WH Studio uses these three tools to create a vertical landscape that makes the guest feel as if they are literally climbing a tree. Cabins and platforms are rotated and connected through staircases in the same way someone climbing a tree would take turns to find the easiest climbing path. This also allows the studio to create a range of cabin options that serve different groups of tourists and provide different views of the terrain depending on rotation.
While the cabins are dramatically rotated in their respective clusters, these moves are not random. The studio describes that balance and duality were important considerations both for the final composition and for the aesthetics of natural versus geometric forms. “Based on the commercial character of the project and the mountain environment, we focused on the balance between abstraction and image, indoor and outdoor, geometry and nature,” says WH Studio. The firm found this balance in the narrative of a whimsical treehouse that is now open to all visitors who want to enjoy the natural beauty of Hangzhou, China.