It’s a big pleasure for me to present you one of the biggest Treehouse Architect of Europe and maybe of the world.
Andreas Wenning was born in 1965 and studied Architecture in Bremen (Germany), in 2003 founded Baumram and started to project different treehouses in Europe, Brazil, United States, …anyway, I had the possibility to exchange some words with him, let’s know more about him!
Hello Andreas, I think that the first thing that everyone wonder is: which was the first idea that make you started with an Architecture Office specialized in Treehouses?
I hadn’t a treehouse when I was a child, but I like trees and small experimental spaces.
First I wanted to build my own treehouse. I liked the idea of being high in the tree in a small space, which is rather modern. I had the opportunity to build my first own treehouse on a very nice spot (treehouse Plendelhof).
Why do you think people are so fascinated by treehouses? How would you explain this phenomenon?
Treehouse gives us an adventure that is exiting. It brings us close to the nature – here we are able to observe the changes of the nature through the weather and the seasons. A treehouse is rather high up in the tree and we are able to observe the environment without being seen.
Paul Smith says that “You can find inspiration in everything and if you can’t, look again!”, do you agree with this sentence?
Yes I agree. Either you are inspired by the environment you build in. Or you can be inspired by art or even by biology for example.
And what really inspired you building a treehouse?
I am looking for a strong statement with the building. It can be a contrast or it can be really going with the surrounding very much in to a cloth relationship. But the statement has to be clear in any case.
What do you think people can find in the trees?
A space in the tree is not only the dream of men, even women like it very much. I can tell by my own experience.
It is a space in between. It’s not on the earth, it is not in the air – a space in the tree, which is in between. You see the changes of the season, birds and all sorts of little animals.
Treehouses provide a rather small concentrated space in the nature that brings people intensely to the natural environment. A space for romantic, quietness, concentration and common space with friends and family.
Which are the limits of building on a tree and how the trees contribute to the treehouse design?
The trees should be respected by their health, by their development in the future, in their movement, in growth and wind. The treehouse itself should get in a dialogue to the tree either in a contrast or in a symbiotic way. It should be safe and last for a long time without a big maintenance.
A treehouse has to be a lighter construction than a normal one. Normally we built wooden constructions. The height and weight depends on the tree. If the tree is not able to carry the weight of the treehouse / the treehouse construction is too big or heavy, it is also possible to use stilts as support.
The limits are the building-law and the budget. Besides that, we can build everything.
To be cloth to the nature and enter you very private space that brings you very close to yourself. The combination between nature environment and built structure that give a very interesting tension.
Which is your approach? For example, Gaudì lived in the Sagrada Familia to take inspiration and to feel completely his architecture, do you make something similar?
No, I am not spending many hours by the trees. I look at the trees very carefully, take pictures and then I go in my office and look for a good statement and a structure that could work and that is beautiful as well.
Every treehouse is designed specifically for that place or they are modules that can be repeated?
Each project is designed for this single special tree / place / family. Some elements can be repeated (interior equipment, design of stilts, material-combination, outer form, …).
The last question, which is the most special treehouse that you have built?
They are all special, but a little bit more special is the treehouse World of Living, which was very complex to built.
Treehouse World of Living
Thanx Andreas for your precious time and your kindness to answer my questions and keep on rockin’ with the treehouses!
If you want a treehouse built by him or just know more about him, just visit his website Baumaram or take a look at this wonderful book with his projects: Treehouses Small Spaces in Nature.
Pics by Baumraum