Polestar is showing off a vision for the future of sustainable vacationing with “KOJA,” a tree house that allows people to connect with nature more easily.
The design was originally proposed by Finland’s Kristian Talvitie for the 2021 Polestar Design Contest. The name comes from the Swedish for hut or den, and the idea is for it to be a low impact cabin in the woods.
With a panoramic, glazed glass facade, people in the treehouse get an unimpeded view of their natural surroundings. And because it’s mounted up on a tree trunk, just below the canopy, the view should be spectacular. Polestar calls it a “rich, immersive experience” that also plays into the rising trend of micro spaces.
That size is more than just hip, though; it’s also very practical. Because of its compact dimensions, it can set up closer to urban centers than, say, a summer house or cottage. That means that people visiting the treehouse don’t need to travel as far to commune with nature, and therefore use fewer of the earth’s natural resources to gaze upon its decline. It also makes nature more accessible to EVs.
“Most designers look at design from a user perspective,” said Talvitie. “I also look at things from the environment’s perspective. There should be a symbiosis between the design and where it’s encountered.”
The designer has been working with Polestar and with Ultra, a Finnish design agency, to make the KOJA a reality. Filled with sustainable materials such as wood and wool that were sourced locally, the treehouse doesn’t ask too much of the planet.
The hut was built in Fiskars, a village and art and design hub in southwestern Finland. It is a part of the “House by an Architect” exhibition during the Fiskars Village Art & Design Biennale, which runs from May to September 2022.
KOJA is the first submission to the Polestar Design Contest to ever be realized at full scale. The contest seeks to find innovative ways to tackle the climate crisis and to mine those designs for green ideas that the automaker can use in its vehicles.
“We were fascinated by the idea and how it translates our brand values into a different environment,” said Maximilian Missoni, Head of Design at Polestar, of KOJA. “That was key for us, and we were so impressed that we decided to build it.”