Here in North America, a treehouse needs wood planks, nails, screws, a hammer, and a drill in order to become a reality. Treehouses in China are different. Quite different. A Beijing-based architecture firm named Penda has designed a treehouse made from bamboo that doesn’t use any of those things.
This design instead requires ropes and rods of bamboo, and nothing more. It was such an impressive and revolutionary concept that it won second place at the 2016 A’Design Awards in the architecture design category. Even if it hadn’t won, it’s certainly impressive.
While Penda only has the design so far, they built a prototype of their modular bamboo system back in 2015. Titled “Rising Canes,” carefully stacked layers of bamboo would combine to form this treehouse unlike any other on the face of the planet.
Attempting to be environmentally friendly, the treehouse would use recycled bamboo from the area. The individual rods are then arranged to form the joints. Eight rods form what the team calls a “knot,” which would be used to create interlaced walls.
The floors are made in the way you would expect, with bamboo rods being lashed together to form a continuous and flat layer for walking on. The whole design is modular, meaning extensions could be brought in from off-site and added to the structure. This is how the treehouse could form.
Local plants would then be allowed to grow on the structure, transforming it into a literal treehouse. They hope it will become a lush and green paradise of sorts, especially since reconnecting with nature was a large part of their design and thought process.
Penda hopes that a potential treehouse could eventually become large enough to function like a small apartment complex, which could then be expanded into a small community. They hope to build a large model of the treehouse outside Beijing by 2023, with additional plans to expand into a 250-acre complex that can house more than 20,000 people.