THE TREE HOUSE, APPLECROSS
by Collière Architecture
At the centre of the c-shaped building footprint is a magnificent old Jacaranda tree which was retained, thus the name of the residence was derived, affectionately named the “Tree House”. This central oasis provides the family with a stunning view from all aspects of the indoors via carefully considered built forms and art focus points to the pool, greenery, and the grandiosity of the beautiful tree. Speaking with the owners, world travellers with an affiliation with Asia, I saw that this oasis suits them perfectly.
The thoughtfully designed layout provides private bedrooms towards the front of the home, linked by a full-height glass ‘hall’ which sweeps along between living and dining areas and beside the pool, to the large family kitchen. The top of the “C” has a lounge room and study overlooking the outdoor living and dining area.
The grandchildren can see the tree most prominently from a dedicated play area within the first- floor wing, the link with nature providing physical and emotional comfort. This wing has been designed for the owner’s children and grandchildren, quite separate on the first floor in a variation of suites.
To view the house from the street, your eye is immediately drawn to the tall vertical form featuring active louvres which provides the first-floor children’s wing with privacy from many large developer homes in the street. The louvres glow gently at night, complementing the adjoining floating white box form. The owner told me the story of her husband who likes to drive past the house at night when the lights are glowing to appreciate the sight.
To further the relationship to the concept of the tree, the design carried on this theme in the variations in timber graining throughout the house, differing textures, shadow effects and lighting sources.
The front elevation shows timber in various forms, colours and textures from the lighter ‘Millboard’ and American Oak to the rich dark seasoned Jarrah front door and the textured off-form white concrete wall with its sand-blasted woodgrain texture.
The owner’s high expectations were exceeded in the completion of the home and they are obviously beyond happy with the result. Among other things, I was blown away by the thought and execution of the detailing of this house, as the old adage says, the devil is in the detail.
“It was a pleasure working with Alison. A creative and professional photographer that reminds architects like me that there is a world of difference between a smart phone photo and the intuitive, exciting quality results she achieved for our buildings.”
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