Biku Eco Resort
Baca Architects has designed a cocoa pod-shaped treehouse for an eco hotel located on a secluded Panama island, which is accessible only by boat securing a stay not burdened by crowds of tourists. The practice was asked to design the treehouse as well as a larger residence for the Bíku Treehouse Retreat on the Bocas del Toro archipelago.
The chain of islands in the Caribbean Sea are known for their scenic natural parks, made up from forests and mangroves that provide a habitat for dozens of species. The treehouse’s design aims to take advantage of the idyllic setting through a broad panoramic opening at one side of its bulbous form, splitting it in two like a cocoa pod. The forms are inspired by cocoa pods and other seed structures found in the rainforests of Panama.
Bamboo has been elected as the primary material for the 25-square-metre treehouse, a decision taken due to abundance in Panama and to make use of local construction knowledge. To reduce the need for construction vehicles on site, parts of the structure will be prefabricated and assembled on the island. This also means the structure can be deconstructed without leaving permanent traces on the site. A spiral staircase wrapping the trunk of the host tree, as well as the treehouse’s cladding and structure, will all be made from bamboo.
Baca used its expertise in floating and flood-resistant architecture to consider how tropical rainfall and humidity might affect the design, shaping the treehouse to redirect rainwater and offer natural ventilation. The open design of the treehouse gives the possibility for maximum exposure to the tropical jungle scenery and long-distance views to the Caribbean Sea, whilst at the same time must be closed to provide security and screening from mosquitos.
You can view Bíku website here: