Are Urban Tree Houses the Next Step for Sustainable Cities?

A glimpse at the future of green living.


(Luciana Rinaldi /

Dutch architect Raimond de Hullu is taking “eco-friendly” to a whole new level. Forget installing energy-saving bulbs, lowering your thermostat or buying low-energy appliances. De Hullu’s idea for the future is Oas1s: urban forests made up of tree houses.

Inspired by his rural upbringing in the south of Holland, de Hullu envisions a city where homes are modeled after trees, “earth’s most ancient, important and appreciated structure.” Each home, or treescraper, would be constructed out of zero-waste materials and operate completely off-grid:  solar panels, rainwater collection, composting toilets, water filtration systems – the works. Oas1s homes would also mimic the structure and appearance of trees, built as tall rectangular units covered on all sides in cascading vegetation.

Best of all, de Hullu hopes that Oas1s will provide an affordable housing solution for everyday citizens. Considering solar panels alone run upwards of $10,000, the company plans to form a Community Land Trust that splits land and house ownership costs, a "win-win-win for people, nature and society."

While Oas1s is still in its conceptualization phase, de Hullu continues to search for a pilot community to put his vision to the test and create a world where humans and nature are 1.

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