In the vicinity of the Bory Tucholskie National Park and the surrounding forests abounding in silence, tranquility and abundance of flora and fauna, three eco-friendly cottages were built, allowing you to relax according to the idea of slow life. The year-round Tlen Lodge apartments were built using traditional heavy timber frame technology made of spruce from the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains. We talk about the idea, the stages of work and the creation of this place close to nature with the owners: Ewa and Michael.
The lodges are located in Bory Tucholskie, bird's eye view
© Tleń Lodge
Tleń Lod ge Apartments are three modern barn-type buildings, each 65 square meters in size. Nature peeps into their interiors through large, panoramic windows. One of the distinguishing features of the cottages is the material and technology through which they were built. They consist of almost ninety percent wood. The heavy timber frame was made from spruce from the Ukrainian Carpathians, the terraces from Siberian larch, and the exterior facade from Scandinavian spruce, while the interior boards, come from Polish forests. In accordance with the principle, #NewLifeStaregoWood, the facilities are equipped with original and ecological furniture made of old wood, more than a century old, which means that not a single tree was cut down to create them. Not only wood, but also metal, used in the construction of Tleń Lodge comes from recycled sources.
Each building has an area of 65 square meters and two levels
© Tleń Lodge
The buildings are diffusion-open, which means that their walls consist of breathable envelopes, which carry water vapor to the outside and naturally regulate the interior temperature. The classically raised walls of Tleń Lodge have been insulated with eco-friendly wool made from natural wood fibers. And the pine logs from which they are constructed provide resin and phytoncides with disinfectant and antibacterial properties.
the structure itself is as much as 58 cubic meters of wood
© Tleń Lodge
Dobrawa Bies: How did your adventure with Tleń Lodge begin?
Eve and Michael: Great question! It started quite simply. While spending time with our family, an advertisement for a booking portal appeared to our eyes, where one of the places promoted was a dome house. The idea of our own place came to us...our children. At first we did not take the topic very seriously, but day by day we became more and more interested in it. We tentatively created the first business plan. Our professional experience turned out to be helpful, as calculating the real costs of investment and potential income, we gave up the idea of a glamping dome house. We wanted to take advantage of what we already knew, but not at any cost. However, we were already so determined that we decided to create Tlen Lodge. Our choice was heavy timber frame construction. For us it was a natural choice, Michal comes from the Tuchola Forest, where such houses have been built for many years. What's more, he has a background related to wood, so we couldn't bet on any other raw material. A year and a half after opening Tlen Lodge, we can proudly say - we have created a place where we would like to come ourselves.
In the interiors, bricks were used on the floor and wood on the walls
© Tleń Lodge
Dobrawa: What were the most difficult moments of creating this place?
Ewa: As I mentioned earlier, we relied on a "heavy skeleton," and as a result, it was difficult to find reliable contractors. The challenge was taken up by the Hutsuls, highlanders from the Ukrainian Carpathians. Interestingly, we are still in contact with them to this day, one could say that a camaraderie has been established between us. Construction began in January 2020, and the first guests took up residence on July 4 of the same year. Meeting the July opening date was one of our priorities from the beginning. As we all know, a pandemic broke out in March and we had difficulty obtaining building materials, but even that didn't stop us. Maybe that's also why, we gave up on the interior architect, supported the construction manager, and really spent a lot of time there. Tleń Lodge is one hundred percent of us, our family, our passions and dreams.
The owners relied on natural materials, including recycled ones
© Tleń Lodge
Dobrawa: What was particularly important to you in creating Tleń Lodge, nature, ecology, architecture, or perhaps guest comfort?
Michael: The construction itself is as much as 58 cubic meters of wood. The idea for the building blocks was a suggestion from my wife. The inspiration came from my family home, in Bory Tucholskie, of course. Having a plot of land in our possession, we came to the conclusion that we would like to create something more durable, stable. We opted for natural materials that were partly reclaimed - for example, floors or furniture, ecological solutions and open spaces. We wanted to be as close to nature as possible, to interfere with it as little as possible, to show respect for the place, the land, natural resources. We were very lucky with the construction team, who understood our idea perfectly.
This is the project of our lives and we put all our hearts and strength into it. Combining a full-time job, raising children, with building a house complex was just a challenge! Nature and the strength of family allowed us to create this place.
Wood is ninety percent of the total construction
© Tleń Lodge
Dobrawa: How did you come up with the idea for such an interior design?
Eve and Michael: We wanted to save and preserve as many trees as possible, to preserve the structure of the place as much as possible. We are the guests of the Tuchola Forest, we always approach it this way, and we instill this in our children as well. We opted for natural raw materials, avoided glue, paint. Wood is about ninety percent of the total building material. Plus reclaimed bricks, wood wool. We have three species of wood used for construction. The architecture is reminiscent of the family's Boer house, where Michael lived. We wanted to preserve tradition and combine it with modernity. We even use natural resources for heating. We consulted various interior experts, all the ideas were very nice and modern, but not exactly ours. In the end, we delayed the decision, first we wanted to "feel" the place ourselves, and only later choose the decor. We wanted uniqueness, we wanted to do something completely different. There are bricks on the floor , wood on the walls. The whole project is the result of our love for nature, wood and natural resources. The most important decisions were actually made a few days before the opening, after the working launch of the first house, with no visuals, just everything in our heads. Finishing the project ourselves, we came to the conclusion - "we have it, everything fits together".
Leisure at Tleń Lodge allows contact with nature
© Tleń Lodge
Dobrawa: How should your guests feel here?
First of all, freely, as they would be guests in our home. Interestingly, incoming tourists often invite us to visit them at home. We care about their intimacy, good atmosphere, peace of mind. Probably each of us has been in a place where the owner of the property was close. We are moving away from that. We trust our guests and don't want them to feel our presence. We want them to relax and catch close contact with nature, which is exceptionally beautiful here.
The whole system of operating the building is on codes, we don't physically issue keys to guests. Not only because of pandemic restrictions, but we just want them to feel comfortable. Maintenance of the entire facility is handled by one employee and our family. We already have guests who have returned to us several times. They come to us to recharge their batteries and get a good night's sleep. The positive aura can simply be felt at Tlen Lodge. Our whole family was involved in the construction, pictures of our children hang in the houses. When we come here, they support us in garden work. We don't feel like we are renting Tlen Lodge to someone, we are returning to our friends. We enjoy being here.
Dobrawa: Thank you for the interview.