Tree Top Glamping

Tree top glamping is a fascinating and unparalleled experience and takes most of us right back to childhood memories. Its popularity is increasing as more and more off ground glamping structures are designed and built to provide a unique and leafy canopy bedroom

On Spanish soil there are various glamping sites offering tree top builds and manufacturer Orugami has developed a new generation of innovative designs and techniques for an eco friendly and versatile structure.

The specialised designs have been developed by the Cantabrian based company which provide customised structures which are ecological using the least amount of materials possible.

Orugami is made up of architects Marta Olarte Solazábal and Daniel Simínovich who studied at the Polytechnical University in Madrid specialising in tensile architecture. They took part in a Development Project which took them to the Atacama Desert in Peru to develop a structure covering that was suitable enough to withstand violent UV rays, strong winds and even earthquakes!

Daniel said: “After this project we thought we could focus the incredible capacities that this material has – the enormous tension strength, it’s tear resistance, fire resistance, waterproof, self cleaning and has a long life span – into a new type of product, self resistant skins that could create fabric micro-architecture that hangs from the trees and creates a suspended house with no impact on nature, that could be installed in protected environments.

“The first idea was to make a shelter for nature using the minimum amount of materials and structure, which could be carried, installed in the forest and uninstalled without leaving any footprint. From there came our very first Orugami concept – a hanging shelter for the Peruvian Amazon forest.  It can keep people safe from beasts on the ground by being suspended from trees and is also a safe place from storms.

“Then we focused on the glamping market where we thought that we could provide original, customised, long lasting, weather resistant but still light and nature friendly installations.”

So the Orugami brands were born. The two main glamping facilities are the Orugami Terra Glamping and the Orugami Sky Glamping. The material is made from high tenacity polyester fabric with a PVC coating.

The Orugami Terra is available in two versions. The Wood version sits on the ground on a wooden flooring whilst the Hammock version offers a hanging hammock inside. Structurally the walls and ceiling are made with textiles that cover the interior space protecting it from the elements, whilst also connecting it to the exterior. Doors, windows and ventilation areas are covered with a special type of material that can also be opened.

Designed in the shape of an old gypsy style caravan the Orugami Terra is detachable and transportable and can be easily installed in most locations.

It is 2.40 metres in length and 4.80 metres wide by 2.70 metres high. The main structure is made up of stainless steel hoops plus ropes and wires.

Meanwhile the Orugami Sky is the vertical version or the ‘floating shelter’ as it’s known and enables guests to sleep from the treetops in comfort with a bird’s eye view of the landscape.

Again, there is minimal infrastructure needed, as these can be placed in any location with the right trees as a single accommodation unit or to form a unique glamping site which invariably end up looking like giant Chinese lanterns hanging from the trees.

There are two levels to this structure, the first houses the double bed and above there is extra space for storage or a further two single beds if needed. The space offers a 360º view from the observatory window with extra storage beneath the inverted cone below.

It takes three people to install following the assembly guide and materials are the same as the Terra uses so waterproof and tear proof.

These are superb options for eco rural tourism locations, magical playhouses or shelters in among a zip wire circuit for adventure parks even. They leave no footprint behind as they are completely detachable and portable. The diameter of the lower level is 2.6 metres and the upper 3.2 metres whilst the minimum height required for installation is five metres.

The company was a finalist in the UPM Start Up Awards in 2013 and the project was selected in 2014 and 2016 for the Central de Diseño Madrid exhibition whilst it has also been featured in various design and architectural magazines.

Currently there is an Orugami Terra located in Baños de la Luz in Tarifa whilst a product was tested at the Monte Holiday campsite in Madrid, whilst there have been two temporary installations in Cantabria and public exhibitions in Matadero de Madrid. Meanwhile there is also an Orugami flying game in Vesterland, a hotel playground in Kaupanger, Norway.

Daniel added: “The Spanish glamping market is developing but still slower than many other European countries, despite the climate which is more appropriate for glamping than many other places. I think that when they become aware it is worth investing in long lasting-original design-good quality glamping devices, the situation will improve. We are very confident of the development of glamping in this region, not only Spain, but in the south of France and Portugal, it is going to increase each year.

“We think our Orugami structures have a wide range of applications and we are continuously improving, updating and adapting our models to different types of contexts and clients. In the future we want to develop more complex models, with higher degree of customisation and comfort, adapted to cool-cold climates and that are faster to install. In the mid term we expect that our experience drives us from little projects to big installations. Glamping is going to be an alternative to investing in buildings.

Published: Glamping Business 2018

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