House In Forest 2020
Wooden House

BPAS Architects

We earned an Honorable Mention for re (cover) entry in the annual international design competition: House In Forest 2020 – Wooden House


When our forests are cut down, the plants and animals that live in the forests are destroyed, and some species are at risk of being made extinct.

Forests can be managed effectively without endangering species of plants and without risking global environmental damage. Companies that harvest timber should only be allowed to selective cut, this means to go in and harvest only a limited number of trees that meet certain criteria. Selective cutting helps the forest grow back faster and supports more wildlife by keeping their ecosystems intact. The disadvantage of selective-cutting is the temporary canopy gap which results in exposure to storms, stumps and other tree debris left behind and dry forest ground can result in fires, erosion and removes genetically superior trees, whose seed is needed to keep the forest healthy.

In order to rehabilitate the affected forest and promote the protection of our forests the gap in the forests canopy will need to be temporarily covered and be monitored until the area has recovered enough.

A temporary man-made canopy constructed of natural biodegradable materials will fill in the gaps in the trees canopy and protect the forest floor and give it the time it needs to grow to safely to a hight to fill in the canopy again. This will prevent the exposure to weather damage such as ice, storms, and Fire is also a risk because the soil dries out and fires are more likely to start. The new trees and grow through the man-made canopy which will add nutrients to the forest floor.

Forest keeps and a small community will stay temporarily in the Forest houses that will form part of the support structure holding up the man-made canopy. These will be constructed on the tree stumps so that it is slightly elevated off the ground an over the root system below where it is not recommended to plant new trees It is generally “not’ recommended to plant a new tree over the top of a recently removed stump. where new trees can grow due to the roots absorbing all the nutrients for up to X years. This will minimize the impact on the forest floor. Selective Forest Houses will have seed banks to plant new trees and ensure the full diversity of species are replaced.

Once the forest has recovered sufficiently and no longer requires monitoring it is time to move to another area that requires help. The core structure of the house and the canopy to be left behind…

Light timber frame structure, canopy for easy and fast construction and deconstruction.

Team: Bashara van den Heever (Project Architect), Ian Cox (Associate &  Design Architect)