Tree House provided us with a perfect opportunity to explore the notion of material and programmatic layering, an ongoing theme in our office. Given that the site is bounded on one side by a busy, public street and on the other side an expanse of dense forest, our strategy was to layer the house such that there was a conceptual opacity towards the street that, through layering, became more transparent as it reached out towards the forest.
From the street, the building presents itself as a sequencing or layering of vegetation, mesh, vertical louvers, circulation and the more private programmatic elements (ie. sleeping, bathing, laundry, storage, etc.). This restraint accentuates the release or transparency towards the forest, celebrating all its moods and seasonal spectacle. The forest side of the home dramatically disintegrates, revealing itself with retracting walls, generous glazing, double height space and the more public programmatic elements (ie. Living, Dining, Family Room, etc.)
Because the house was designed for a blended family that at any given time could swell to over 10 people, we were challenged to maximize every square inch of usable space. As such, we took advantage of space under, around and even on top of the house harkening back to the tree houses of our childhood, leaving no space underutilized or forgotten.