This transparent tree house designed by architect Gerardo Broissin is located at the foothills of the long ‘Sierra de las Cruces’, which is the occidental limit of the Valley of Mexico’s basin. The tree house gets its name from the word ‘chantil’ which in classic Nahuatl – Valley of Mexico’s habitants official language in the great Tenochtitlan – meaning house or room, and from the word ‘kuaulakoyokan’ which means ‘in the tree top’.
The project forms part of the tenth anniversary of Design House, an annual event that stands out in the calendar of Design Week Mexico. This year’s edition takes an abandoned house that is transformed by 24 local interior designers and architects, each one restoring a room or outdoor area in their own style within the frame of the World Design Capital 2018. Broissin was in charge of the house’s access patio and transformed it into a micro-forest with the small tree house over a centennial ash tree.
By popular cult, the tree house is an element that refers back to childhood and the search of a space that is your own that grants us refuge, disconnection and that is the scenario of adventures and dreams. Conventionally it is constructed in wood and now Broissin reinterpreted it in crystal. This choice intends to highlight the loss of a child’s innocence over time, with warm wood being replaced by cold glazing.
The tree house also makes reference to ‘Privacidad’, a play by Mexican actor Diego Luna, where the supposed privacy promised by social media is questioned. In the same way the diaphanous of the tree house also seeks to invite on a reflection about the security and privacy requested from a constructed space, elements that are sometimes compromised by the misuse of space at the hand of the user itself or by factors inherent to the architectural design, as is the case in this premeditated exercise.