If you’re after a unique winter retreat, look no further than this suspended tree house in the Italian Alps where you can truly get back in touch with nature. The best bit? You’ll be able to watch the starry sky from the comfort of your bed thanks to a skylight overhead.
Designed by architect Claudio Beltrame, the pine cone-shaped holiday let is situated among the stunning Dolomites mountain range in northeastern Italy and is inspired by the surrounding pine trees native to the Tarvisio forest.
Recognising the trend for ecotourism and unusual retreats, Beltrame created the tree house design by cleverly suspending the structure, thanks to the support of the surrounding trees, so it would fit in seamlessly with its environment.
Floating 10 metres above the ground, the building constructed by DomusGaia is made from curved timber beams, insulated with a breathable natural material and clad in larch shingles to give it the characteristics of a pine cone – all the wood is locally sourced from the surrounding woodland.
Roughly eight-and-a-half metres (28 feet) high and six metres (20 feet) wide, the pine cone can generously accommodate guests on three storeys. The first floor offers visitors a 360-degree viewing platform so guests can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding scenery; it is designed to encourage guests to enjoy a moment of contemplation and to reconnect with nature.
On the second level is an open-plan space that contains a kitchenette and cosy living area with a large sliding glass door that allows guests to still keep in touch with nature and enjoy the view while inside. Up the stairs is the pièce de résistance – a circular sleeping quarters with a double bed sat underneath the round skylight in the tip of the cone so guests can stare up at the stars beyond.
The tree house creates the perfect synergy between architecture and nature and offers visitors an opportunity to truly switch off from urban life.