Built by a firm usually known for making high performance electric cars, a flying saucer-inspired treehouse could soon be rented for forest R&R in Finland.
Swedish company Polestar constructed the tree house, dubbed “KOJA,” in the 2021 Polestar Design Contest, for which it received an honorable mention. The company then decided to bring it to life to mark the launch of the 2022 contest.
Built in the village of Fiskars by Finnish designer Kristian Talvitie, KOJA is the first submission from the competition to be realized in full-scale.
A response to the contest theme of “progress”, KOJA is described as redefining sustainable travel by reducing the need for travel in the first place, yet still brings people closer to nature.
Koja is a Swedish word meaning “hut” or “den”, and the interior of the treehouse offers a simple space for hanging out in nature.
Attached to a tree trunk just below the canopy, the design maximizes the treetop view with a panoramic glazed façade. Accessed by a rear staircase, there is one room forming a U-shape around the tree trunk.
Conceived as a lounge or basic sleeping area, there are no amenities, although users can visit a nearby standalone bathroom in the woods.
“We were so impressed that we decided to build it,” says Maximilian Missoni, Head of Design at Polestar.
Described as “a rich, immersive experience in a natural environment,” KOJA connects to the growing micro space trend and the tree house is accessible for people who would otherwise take a much longer trip to experience the wilderness.
“Most designers look at design from a user perspective,” says the designer of KOJA, Kristian Talvitie. “I also look at things from the environment’s perspective. There should be a symbiosis between the design and where it’s encountered.”
To translate the design into reality, Kristian Talvitie worked closely with the Polestar Design team in Gothenburg, Sweden, and with colleagues at Finnish design agency Ultra.
Created from sustainable and durable materials such as locally sourced wood and wool, KOJA blends in with its natural environment and at the same time creates an eye-catching contrast.
KOJA is part of the ‘House by an Architect’ exhibition during the Fiskars Village Art & Design Biennale, open from May to September 2022.