01 Mar 2019 • Lauren Grace Morris
These ready-to-assemble cabins bring the great indoors to the great outdoors
The Fuselage cabins by Tree Tents International almost look as if they’ve been dropped down from another planet. Only three by five metres in size, the exterior of the structures – made from aluminium – reflect the surroundings back at the temporary inhabitants. But they are not built for just any campground, and they’re certainly not for aliens: the cabins are durable and can be erected even in the wildest of regions, right here on planet Earth.
This project wanted a solution better suited to the ecological needs that many comparable glamping experiences neglect
Treehouses are a hot commodity for the glamping industry in Europe – in the last three years, the sector has increased its share of holiday destinations by 30 per cent continent-wide. But this growth poses a sustainability issue: perceiving these structures as ‘short-term’ often results in decreased building quality and perpetuates throw-away culture.
Tree Tents International’s founder and innovation and design director Jason Thawley wanted to create a woodland hideaway that would be built to last and better suited to the ecological needs that many comparable glamping experiences neglect. The ready-to-assemble structure can be easily carried to previously inaccessible locations and the construction can be done simply and quickly, which means that no environmentally disruptive machinery is needed on site. Parts more susceptible to damage can be easily replaced or repaired, and the small size minimises impact to the surrounding area.
The company’s resolve is consistent: the structures are manufactured from locally sourced and recyclable materials, and they use waste from the process to make camping accessories such as rucksacks and stools.
When it’s time for set up, stilted feet allow for accommodation to whatever terrain necessary. Additionally, heavily insulated triple-layered walls, low-voltage radiant heating, a micro woodstove and solar panels prepare campers for any kind of climate. Rain or shine, there’s always a (surprisingly) inviting enclosed interior to return to.
This is probably one of the first flat-pack offerings to actually be imported to the land of IKEA from Britain
Recently, one of the first Fuselages was installed in northern Sweden, just a few hundred miles below the Arctic Circle. In good humour, TTI points out that it’s probably one of the first flat-pack offerings to actually be imported to the land of IKEA from Britain. Right now, the principal target client base are those seeking to start a glamping business and for those looking to outfit private annexes and garden studios. But it’s not just to the deepest forests and most isolated coastal ranges they appeal: the cabins are also suitable for use in urban areas.
The dwellings capitalise on the exhilarating sensations of being immersed in the outdoors, but more importantly, they unobtrusively attend to the primitive human need for equipped shelter. It’s easy to imagine that enjoying the rugged wilderness is just a little easier with the basic anxieties out of the way.