The battle to tackle climate change and house our rising population are two huge challenges we face today. Could Matthew Chamberlain have come up with the perfect solution in the Street Tree Pods?
Matthew Chamberlain has come up with a concept to tackle London’s housing crisis by building a network of residences in the trees. The Street Tree Pods embrace the importance of nature within a city, whilst helping to house those who are at the front line of the sky-high house prices in the city. Innovative and resourceful..but is it possible?
The idea is to build these Street Pods onto existing trees, so the pod essentially becomes a tree house.
Managing to squeeze four floors into the teardrop-shaped wooden structures, Chamberlain reckons the Pods would mostly be used by students, young professionals and homeless people also.
“Street Tree Pods seeks to offer a fresh insight into urbanisation and community living within London, tackling and challenging both the current housing crisis and the growing pollution issues within the city”
Just fresh from university, Chamberlain is an architecture student, who submitted this idea as part of his MA in Architecture.
Keen to tackle the issues he sees in London, the Street Pod is a fantastic concept that could help to solve both rising homelessness and unaffordability in London, but also global warming.
Chamberlain certainly stresses the importance of green space in cities, stating, they are “a vital piece of infrastructure for a city”.
He believes that reimagining the use of trees in our cities could be hugely beneficial for the environment and the citizens’ wellbeing.
“These self-sufficient, low impact urban tree pods merge the house and street tree together, facilitating humans innate attraction towards nature and natural processes, along with focusing on the importance of wellness and sustainable architecture”
Enclosing the tree tunks in an ETFE shell, a system that allows water to reach the tree and run through to the ground, ensures the health of the tree itself and a rubber gasket would also be installed to allow the tree to expand whilst remaining sealed.
On the entry level, accessed by a ladder, would be the ‘plant room’, containing a rainwater storage tank, air source heat pump and bio digester.
Move up a floor and you reach the kitchen/living space, which will have a bathroom also and even a balcony!
Third floor will be the main washroom, with some desk and storage space, and the top floor is the main bedroom which has a skylight for natural lighting.
They would certainly not be roomy accomodations, but they offer an attractive alternative for those keen to live in the big smoke for a lesser price, whilst helping out the environment. A vegan dream!
As with any project in a city, finding enough space and being resourceful is always a challenge. But the Street Pods would make use of the space above the ground, occupying just a single car-parking bay space.
“Trees have proved to decrease obesity, reduce certain health risks and aid mental behaviour and ultimately make people feel happier and more positive in their day to day lives”
“Too often, however, they are disregarded as a vital component of urban master planning infrastructure and healthcare.”
“This project is quietly arguing that more should be made to live among our natural landscape,”
“It is not enough to simply move it out of the way for our architectural interventions. Trees are imperative to the success, health and wellbeing of all people and only ever provide advantages to our quality and way of life.”
Each dwelling would have space for a car and a bicycle below, and Chamberlain also expresses his desire to create an above-ground network of cycle paths between the pods, through the city, dodging the traffic!
The cycle highways would be accessible from the third level of each treehouse.
He’s even imagined a new app, in which you can buy and sell the pods, like a real-estate site.
“The Street Tree Pod app was designed as a vision for how the project would develop in the future,”
“The home screen of the app displays all the various types of street tree pods available, along with the relevant information that define it such as number of bedrooms and type of tree.”
Without a doubt, there has been a push in architecture towards green design across the globe, realising that we can no longer get away with unsustainable living if we are to have a future.
Whether it be New York banning all steel and glass skyscrapers, or entire cities being politically abandoned because of rising seas, the architecture world is changing it’s face when it comes to new creations.
Concepts like the Street Tree Pods are arising all over the place, and soon we expect that the trend will become the norm.
It might seem a tad futuristic, ironically, for us to be living in trees, but the reality is quite possible. As technologies and attitutes change at rapid rates, initiatives such as Chamberlain’s could be the key to the urban climate and capacity problems most cities now face.
Question is, would you live in a tree?
HEKKTA could be persuaded…