Treehouse Escape: The Birdhut in Canada
This tiny treehouse in British Columbia was built not only for people, but for 12 varieties of local birds who are encouraged to nest in its custom façade.
Nesting is the overarching theme of The Birdhut, a basic treehouse in a mountainous valley of Canada's British Columbia designed by interdisciplinary practice Studio North. Staying true to its design philosophy of constructing spaces that positively contribute to the community and its environment, the hut was specifically created for camping bird-lovers as well as the feathered inhabitants of its forested hillside locale. Built amidst a lush canopy of trees and spanning just 9m2 in size, The Birdhut may be a tight fit for its human occupants, but it can accomodate twelve varieties of local birds in custom birdhouses embedded in its red cedar-shingled façade.
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From the pileated woodpecker's 10-cm wide entry hole that sits 7m above the ground to the warbler's 3cm-wide offering that's raised only 3m, careful consideration has gone into the exact requirements of each of the birds to ensure prime nesting opportunities for as wide a variety as possible. The treehouse hovers 3m off the ground on wooden stilts and is supported by a cross-braced structure of lodgepole pines foraged from a nearby fire-stricken forest. All of the materials used, in fact, are reclaimed and found in The Birdhut's immediate surroundings, a decision that both speaks of sustainability and mimics a bird's nest-building process. The interior's platform and cladding are made of planks from an old cabin deck, while clear sloped roof panels create a greenhouse-type effect that allows the hut to be passively heated by the sun during the day. Two circular windows allow for ventilation, and a bridge connects the treehouse to the hillside and down to a natural spring and campfire, allowing its visitors to truly immerse themselves in the surrounding natural environment.