Laos, a land famous for its beautiful Buddhist architecture, stunning natural landscape and incredibly diverse wildlife, is quickly becoming a new favorite among tourists. One of the chief attractions is the Nam Nern Night Safari in the renowned Nam Et-Phou Louey Biodiversity Conservation Area (NBCA). Located in the northern part of the country, and encompassing an area of nearly 6,000 sq km, the region is home to several endangered species, such as tiger, Asian elephant, leopard, black bear and other. What is more, one could even find ingeniously-designed spherical eco-lodges, hanging from the trees, in certain parts of the park.
Built by Cambodia-based architectural firm, Atelier COLE, these suspended sleeping pods offer visitors a chance to escape into the wilderness, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Drawing inspiration from the complex shapes and forms of bird and insect nests, the architects have managed to create a somewhat-private space, for the guests, right in the middle of the forest. Made from locally-sourced bamboo and timber, the structure features a basket-woven globular base, extending up to two feet in height. The eco-lodges are supported by means of strengthened steel cables, that are in turn fastened to the adjacent tree trunks.
Situated close to the Nam Poung village, each of the eco-lodges can easily accommodate two single beds, or conversely, one large double bed. The exterior is made water-proof with help of special, hydrophobic fabric, while the interior is lined with fine mosquito netting. Additionally, the project includes the construction of an observation tower as well as a base camp that doubles as a play area for children.
According to the architects, the sustainable project aims at encouraging eco-tourism, while at the same time providing better employment opportunities for the local Kuhmu people.
To know more about Atelier COLE and their projects, click here.