From a primordial refuge to the expression of a dream – not just a child's dream – of adventure to escape from the ordinariness of everyday life, the tree house is an archetype in which the idea of a protective nest and the need for beneficial contact with nature come together.
Tree houses are sometimes a refined combination of craftsmanship, design and technology, becoming to all intents and purposes small ‘architectures’ worthy of the name. This is the case of Cassiopeia, designed and built by Portuguese studio Madeiguincho Atelier, which for years has been combining architectural design and sophisticated carpentry skills in a single creative and executive process.
The tiny work is located in a treeless garden near Cascais but, just like its counterpart raised houses among the branches, it is an evocative place with minimal environmental impact: invisible from the outside of the property, the house, made entirely of wood, is suspended on pilotis similar to an insect’s legs and anchored to the ground with metal plates. Inside, a multi-level children’s playground, with multiple routes including a slide, swing and climbing wall, offers recreation for the youngest and escape for the oldest.
The facetted, irregular volume with a vaguely cubist flavour is wrapped in a cross-laminated timber shell covered with horizontal wooden slats. Glazed openings of various shapes and sizes – from the French windows opening onto the terrace to the skylight in the roof – offer different views of the world that, even from a few metres above, can seem more stimulating: all you have to do is change perspective.
- Architecture and construction:
- Madeiguincho Atelier
- Cascais, Portugal