LONG AND NARROW, they stretch between the trees in the holiday resort of Pedras Salgadas in northern Portugal. These wooden snakes are actually accommodation. According to the architects at the firm Rebelo de Andrade, the purpose of the design and its location among the tree branches, is to fire up the imagination of visitors. The wooden cabins float above the ground, but instead of getting guests to climb up to them, they are led gently upwards along a narrow bridge, with the ground slowly falling away beneath them. Slender posts anchor the structure to the ground.
Both the snakes are made of wood, and externally they are clad in slate tiles, giving the feel of a rugged mountain range. The choice of materials allows the cabins to merge into the landscape – to such an extent that they are said to have taken people walking in the forest completely by surprise.
Inside, the cabins offer a combined living room and bedroom, with a kitchen and shower room on one side and a toilet and wardrobe on the other. Sustainable technologies such as solar panels and water recovery aim to make the buildings self-sufficient. Low-energy lights and well insulated walls ensure that use of electricity and heating is as efficient as possible. «