Slow down structures: a sustainable stay in the heart of the forest

The Tree Houses project developed by Peter Pichler Architecture showcases a nature-inspired vision of sustainable treehouses in the Italian Dolomites. Such a concept can be enticing for the growing number of travellers looking for a guest experience that breaks away from the hustle and bustle of city life. We take a look at the unique design. 

Peter Pichler Architecture


Milan-based studio Peter Pichler Architecture has developed a novel concept for sustainable tree houses nestled within the forest of the Italian Dolomites. The tree houses are an addition to an existing hotel and are specifically designed to maximise the guest’s connection to nature, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering a unique view of the surrounding mountainscape.

geometric design

The unusual geometric appearance of each unit echoes the shapes of fir and larch trees that grow in the surrounding forest, with sharp steep roofs that blend into the angular tree tops and blackened wood cladding created using local wood. Each one will rest on small concrete foundations, with additional structural support provided by the structural glass walls.

two levels in the mountains

The units range from 35m2 – 45m2 in size over two levels. On the lower level the design incorporates a small lounge area, which is connected to the upper level by a small internal stair. The second level features the sleeping area with beds orientated to look out over the mountains, as well as a small bathroom.

slow down tourism

“The project is conceived as a "slow down” form of tourism where nature and the integration of architecture in it play a central role,” said the studio. “We believe that the future of tourism is based on the relationship of the human being with nature. Well integrated, sustainable architecture can amplify this relationship, nothing else is needed."

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Cover credit: Nikolas Koenig

Cover image credit: Peter Pichler Architecture