Luminair, a British design studio that focuses on sustainable, environmentally-friendly construction, has created the Tree Tent, a structure made of lightweight aluminum and a steam-bent ash airframe that can be used for recreation, research, conservation, or education.
The Tree Tent is easy to transport and can be assembled on-site. The structure offers comfortable, low-impact temporary shelter year-round.
A Tree Tent is shaped like a sphere that measures 3 meters in diameter, making it large enough for two adults. It is surrounded by 16 oz. rot-proof, waterproof, 100 percent cotton canvas. Its 100 percent wool winter thermal liners make it usable year-round. The Tree Tent is inspired by early zeppelin engineering and lightweight aircraft design. It is available with an optional wood stove, water, and electricity.
The Tree Tent was originally designed by Jason Thawley of Luminair. The team who created the structure worked for over three years to develop the design. They wanted to create a lightweight and efficient temporary shelter using materials that were sustainable, recyclable, recycled, and natural. The team was inspired by recent growth in the popularity of yurt and tipi camping in the United Kingdom.
The team who worked on the project had decades of experience in sustainable shelter systems, fabric structures, and tree top living. They included people with experience in balloon and airship engineering, precision machining, fabrication, autosport engineering, carpentry, steam bending, and sustainable engineering and design. The Lindstrand Hot Air Balloon Company created the spherical, precision-made outer skins for the temporary structures.
A Tree Tent takes four to six weeks to construct and one to two days to install. Luminair can also install rope bridges and platforms to make the structure accessible.
The Tree Tent can also be used as a stand-alone ground-mounted structure. This option reduces the amount of aluminum framing and rigging required but still offers the advantages that come from living in a raised structure.