This Australian “Tree House” Embraces the Spirit of its Site
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This Australian “Tree House” Embraces the Spirit of its Site

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By Anna Squier
Cantilevered high above a steep, rocky site, this young family's “Tree House” fully embraces the Australian landscape.

Located on the northern slope of Buderim mountain on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, this 2,800-square-foot home hovers gently above a rocky outcropping with open decks and broad views that embrace the surrounding Eucalyptus trees.

The simple, architectural form reaches out into the landscape.

The simple, architectural form reaches out into the landscape.

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Slender columns support the cantilevered home above the rocky terrain, providing minimal disruption to the natural landscape.

Slender columns support the cantilevered home above the rocky terrain, providing minimal disruption to the natural landscape.

The swimming pool anchors the home to the rocky slope and enables its wood-framed platform to hover high above the terrain.

The swimming pool anchors the home to the rocky slope and enables its wood-framed platform to hover high above the terrain.

Designed by Bark Design Architects, a collaborative architecture practice located on the Sunshine Coast, the sustainable and contemporary home is a specially crafted response to the landscape, place, and climate. The home consists of modular living spaces adjoined on cantilevered timber framing. Open breezeways and veranda spaces blend indoor and outdoor living. 

Breezeways and verandas provide external circulation between living spaces.

Breezeways and verandas provide external circulation between living spaces.

Large, sliding glass doors provide a seamless connection between indoor and outdoor living spaces.

Large, sliding glass doors provide a seamless connection between indoor and outdoor living spaces.

The home's living spaces are up in the tree tops surrounded by lush foliage.

The home's living spaces are up in the tree tops surrounded by lush foliage.

Constructed on a modest budget, the modular structure has material palette of galvanized steel, hardwood timber, polycarbonate, plywood, and fiber cement sheet cladding. The natural elements create an intimate connection to the home's coastal setting.

Panels of dark stained plywood and fiber cement conceal the interior living spaces.

Panels of dark stained plywood and fiber cement conceal the interior living spaces.

Timber slat ceilings cover the circulation spaces, creating a continuous play of light and shadow as the sun passes overhead.

Timber slat ceilings cover the circulation spaces, creating a continuous play of light and shadow as the sun passes overhead.

The facade creates a porous connection between the landscape and the home. Large and movable openings embrace the subtropic breezes. Timber slat ceilings provide necessary shading and protection while allowing light to comfortably filter inward.

Exterior facade treatments, such as these movable shutters,  embrace the topical climate, providing sun or shading, stillness or breezes, and views or privacy.

Exterior facade treatments, such as these movable shutters, embrace the topical climate, providing sun or shading, stillness or breezes, and views or privacy.

Timber-clad verandas blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces, while providing  protection and filtered light.

Timber-clad verandas blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces, while providing protection and filtered light.

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The interior spaces are simple and clean, allowing the panoramic views to remain the center of attention.

The interior spaces are simple and clean, allowing the panoramic views to remain the center of attention.

"Two Tree House" preserves and celebrates the magnificence of the strenuous site, the beauty of the surrounding mountains, and the tropical climate patterns. It is a modern tree house that fully embraces the spirit of living in the Australian landscape.

Polycarbonate clerestory panels pull daylight into the living space.

Polycarbonate clerestory panels pull daylight into the living space.

Related Reading: This Triangular Tree House Adds Whimsy to a Backyard in Australia10 Surreal Tree Houses That Will Make Your Childhood Dreams Come True 

Project Credits:

Architect of Record, Lighting, Interior Design: Bark Design Architects / @barkarchitects

Builder / General Contractor: GV Emanuel Constructions

Structural Engineer: SCG Consulting Engineers PL