Italian architect Claudio Beltrame was inspired by the shape of pine cones and critical theories about spaces of otherness to design Pigna, a round treehouse suspended 30 feet above the ground in the Italian Alps. The dreamy retreat was envisioned as what philosopher Michael Foucault would deem a heterotopia—a space with dual meanings, functioning outside of ideal society.
“Shelter in a tree has always been the best place to dream," Beltrame told Dezeen. "[They're] man's primitive place and a place of liberty and reflection.”
The ovoid abode, developed in collaboration with the wooden prefab specialists at DomusGaia, is clad in larch shingle, its interior structure made with cross-laminated timber bent into curved forms and insulated with wood fiber. A long bridge stretches from the hillside behind the house to provide access to visitors.
The home is three stories, with a full 360-degree panoramic view from the lowest floor. The middle story holds the kitchenette, living room, and a balcony. The third floor is the bedroom, featuring an extravagantly arched ceiling pierced at its center with a skylight that lets visitors stargaze at night. Beltrame hopes the oddly shaped home will help encourage holiday visitors to reconnect with nature.