October 21, 2008
WHO: Baumraum, a German architecture firm
WHERE: Deutschland, und international locations
WHAT: Tiny prefab treehouses (no kidding!)
SIZE: About 100 square feet, depending on the model
Fritz! Ernst! The Future is here!
It’s a childhood dream, all grown up: a mod, beyond-cool treehouse. Now you can live amongst the leaves in one of Baumraum‘s prefabricated treehouses, which come equipped with bunks and trunks, light and heat, and even the tools to make meals. Though the houses come sans toilets and showers, and are therefore not quite move-in ready, they could make a great addition to, say, a piece of land hooked up to an outhouse. Who needs anything else?
Okay, so maybe one of these feats of arboreal architecture couldn’t serve as a primary residence. But they are nonetheless artful, and so Small, too. Win-win.
August 5, 2008
WHO: Our Planet Retreats
WHERE: Tropical climes around the world
WHAT: An Ewok-worthy treehouse retreat
SIZE: I’d have to use my latent geometry skillz to figure the area of a sphere. Let’s just say about 350 square feet, okay?
Wicket? Is that you?
Now’s your chance to invest in a South Pacific vacation spot, Swiss Family Robinson–meets–Star Wars-style. Our Planet Retreats (OPR), the start-up makers of these wild, suspended fiberglass spheres, are taking on the wooded areas of far-flung locales, including the Philippines, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea. Want to get in on the action? Purchase a share for just $30. Or, to have a greater say in the company’s decisions, buy a sphere for $2,500. Once the company raises $55,000, they’ll start paying dividends.
The globes run on solar power, and shares are offered to locals before the general public to foster “good relations.” I’m a little skeptical, and more than a little concerned about the imperialistic connotations of these fancy novelty retreats. It appears, however, that OPR are supplying jobs for island residents, who are employed to prepare locally sourced food for guests, for example. Moreover, OPR has this to say: “Everything we do is geared towards what is best for YOU, LOCAL PEOPLE, ENVIRONMENT and OUR PLANET.” All caps. So they must be legit, right?
No word on how much accommodations cost, nor whether you can buy a prefab sphere to hang in your own backyard, but we’ll definitely keep an eye on it. Visit the OPR website for more pics and philosophies. And grab a copy of The Ewok Adventure while you’re at it. Warwick Davis as a furry humanoid living in an proto-OPR sphere? Boss.