Pigna – A Pair of Pine Cone-Inspired Treehouses from the Italian Alps

Nestled among the trees of a forest in Italy, these two oddities can be seen peeking through the greenery. The timber-clad structures are actually a pair of forest retreats.


Raised off the ground level and perched among the canopy of the trees, the designers refer to them as tree houses. They’ve been created by the firm Architetto Beltrame Claudio (ABC).



The pair of tree houses are set on the perimeter of the oldest and widest forest in Italy. The wood from the spruce trees is used to create violins and other instruments – it’s the rare quality of the wood that makes them suitable. The project, simply dubbed Pigna, came about as a result of a competition.



The competition asked people to design a forest retreat. In the end, ABC’s proposal for a spherical treehouse beat the competition, and went on to be constructed. Each treehouse reaches a height of 10 meters above ground level, and contains three floors each. The result is a spacious, unique retreat, with a floor area of 753.47-square-feet (70-square-meters).


The first floor of the treehouses is set 4-meters off the ground. It serves as a “panoramic covered terrace”; a shelter from which to soak up the views of the Italian Alps. The second floor is accessed by a sweeping staircase that follows the shape of the pine cone-inspired structure. It contains a living room, complete with a sheltered balcony to the front.


The final floor of the treehouses contains the bedroom. It’s set under a dramatic curved ceiling, lit by a roof light at its apex. According to the architect, the structure is made of cross-laminated wood, insulated with wooden fiber, and clad with larch shingle. As they put it: “From the tree, for the tree”.



For more treehouses, check out the Woodman’s Treehouse, a luxurious getaway by Guy Mallinson. Or, Playa Vivas Treehouse, which allows you to soak up views of the Pacific Ocean. See all treehouses.

Photos © Ulderica Da Pozzo, Massimo Crivellari, Laura Tessaro

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.