Once Upon a Treehouse: Atelier 37.2


An architect and a photographer. Perhaps not the most common­ pair to go into business together. But Atelier 37.2's Francesca Bonesio and Nicolas Guiraud, architect and photographer respectively, are part­ners in work as well as life. "Although we're from different disciplines, we're both conceptual, starting projects not with drawings but with words. Our aim is to pull design in a narrative direction, to trigger people's imaginations," Bone­sio says. One way that she and Guiraud do this is through what they call "inhabited sculptures," for example the Tree Hut designed for a sleeping loft in a 6-year-old boy's bedroom in Paris.

True to form, Atelier 37.2 began with words, in this case the French for hut and creeper, then proceeded to hand-rendered sketches and 3-D computer drawings of a tree shape. At nearly 10 feet tall, it combines a staircase-which makes a sleeping loft out of space once used solely as storage-with a built-in desk­top for homework. A carpenter ultimately built everything from pine, including the branches screwed to the stringer, the wall, and the ceiling. As for the tree's red paint, it's intentionally "not too literal," Bonesio says. She adds that "the red worked well" with the sleeping loft's dark blue-green, chosen for its cozy dreaminess.

Photography by Nicolas Guiraud.

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