Thursday, 01 February 2018 00:00

A treetop retreat

    As its customers often define it, ORIGIN is an exceptional cabin, a unique and tailor-made project hidden among the tree tops.

    A hundred-year-old oak – one of the most beautiful and tall of the domain of the Château de Raray – was the starting point for the whole reflection: how to sublimate the tree?


    The architectural challenge for Atelier LAVIT was to create a functional and comfortable hotel room, being faithful to the first inspiration of the project – a bird’s nest. The design of the cabin, coupled with the construction techniques, led to a rationalisation of the assembly logic of the branches collected by the birds to create their impregnable shelters. A meeting point between poetry and carpentry mastery, ORIGIN tree house discreetly stands out among the centenarian oaks of the Château de Raray forest, as if it had always been part of the scenery. Majestic and elegant, it integrates and completes an already impressive landscape, sublimating it by offering a shelter.


    The access is a sequence – passing first from a platform suspended on another tall oak 30m away, which includes a heated spa and a chilling area. Then a wooden walkway, 10m from the ground, leads you straight into the heart of the nest.


    A wooden ladder invites you to continue the ascent in close contact with the tree, to find a large 360° panoramic roof terrace. A belvedere on the oak forest of the domain, as surprising as unexpected because it’s hidden by the exterior wooden cladding.


    The octagonal plan organises the space around the oak trunk, incorporating it into the inhabited volume as the protagonist of the space that is the entrance to the tree house. Once on the patio, there is easy access to the living area thanks to two large sliding glass doors.


    A cosy, bright and intimate atmosphere fills the space thanks to the large windows. The inner lining of the wall is made out of poplar tree, a light and clear wood essence with a subtle scent. The smooth, flat interior walls are matched by the custom-made furniture surfaces, worked with fine horizontal slats, in a simple game of geometric volumes.

    Around the patio, the living spaces develop in succession; from the entrance to the living area and the sleeping area, until a narrow corridor with three sliding doors that give access respectively to a dressing room, a well-equipped bathroom and a technical closet. Each one of the living spaces faces the large windows overlooking the forest, offering a mid-air view on the foliage of the centennial oaks of the domain.


    Born 1986, Marco Lavit graduated in architecture at Ecole Speciale d’Architecture, Paris and at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne in 2011. His dissertation was on wineries design. His sensibility towards design took shape at the studio of the Architect and Designer Riccardo Blumer. His time at LAN Architecture further strengthened his architectural direction, with a strong focus on design culture and attention to detail. Marco founded his architecture and design practice, Atelier LAVIT, in 2014 together with Carlo Lavit. Since then, the practice has been active in France and Italy. Atelier LAVIT’s work originates from the dialogue with artisans and their savoir-faire, especially made in Italy. Architecture and design often proceed in parallel, striving to reach essential forms. This approach results in an extemporal production, which does not follow trends, but rather lets the strength of raw materials speak for the designs themselves. In architecture, the studio has a preference for the use of wood, often applied to unusual and innovative housing structures. In 2017, Atelier LAVIT realised an exclusive tree house for the Park of Raray Castle, France, and a series of surprising, floating cabins for a hotel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France. Marco is one of the Rising Talent Awards 2018 for Maison & Objet Paris.

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