Around this time of year, people are practically itching to hightail it out of town and hole up in a cozy holiday vacation rental, so it's only natural that the serene sight of this tiny pine cone-shaped treehouse in the Italian Alps has us ready to say arrivederci to home and board a flight ASAP.
Called "Pigna" ("pinecone" in Italian), the treehouse of our childhood dreams is a three-story structure suspended 30 feet above ground. According to Dezeen, the shape and texture of pine cones inspired Architect Claudio Beltrame to create this whimsical shingled retreat, as well as Michael Foucault's theories of Heterotopias, which are reflected in Pigna's remote mountainous location.
The home's lowest floor provides a panoramic view, and a kitchenette, living room and balcony occupy the second floor. Both levels can be accessed by a set of outdoor stairs or a bridge situated behind the home. The entire third floor is dedicated to a bedroom with an arched ceiling and a circular skylight above a double bed. Wooden stairs connect all three levels.
Beltrame teamed up with Italian company DomusGaia to bring Pigna to life. The design was originally created as a concept for an architectural contest in 2014 but was finally completed this year in Malborghetto Valbruna, Italy. The cone's exterior is covered in larch shingle; the interior is made of cross-laminated timber and insulted with wood fiber. All wood materials used to construct Pigna were locally sourced from the Alpe-Adria region.
In addition to providing a stellar example of modernism in the Alps, Beltrame hopes that Pigna will encourage people to connect with nature.
"The project started from the desire to create a structure that is not only a refuge for man, but also a natural element of its environment, a mimesis of its surrounding," the architectural team said of Pigna. "From the tree, for the tree."