spotted gum-clad 'treehouse' by suzanne hunt floats among australian woods

spotted gum-clad 'treehouse' by suzanne hunt floats among australian woods

A Dream Transformed: From Weekender to Home

 

Nestled in Western Australia‘s scenic Margaret River bushland, a three-hour drive south of Perth, the Treehouse residence by Suzanne Hunt Architect (SHA) blends natural beauty and modern living. The steep, tree-filled plot lent a complex site for the home, elevated on stilts and designed for a couple with a vision of a semi-permanent country house that complements their city cottage in Perth.

 

The Treehouse Residence stands as a single-level timber-framed house, designed with aging in place in mind. Its exterior is clad in Spotted Gum, a fire-resistant timber species, with vertically laid weatherboard panels. These panels, as well as the aluminum-framed windows, reflect the varying diameters of the surrounding tree trunks. Corten steel panels frame the entry, while BlueScope Colourbond roofing and locally sourced Margaret River stone wrap the exterior.

suzanne hunt treehouseimages © Dion Robeson | @dionrobeson

 

 

suzanne Hunt Architect designs with respect for the land

 

Suzanne Hunt Architects faced a series of constraints and opportunities when designing this unique Treehouse residence. These included a Flame Zone (FZ) Bushfire Assessment Level, local planning parameters, and the absence of mains water, sewerage, and limited power supply. To protect the local fauna and flora, careful undergrowth clearing and tree planting were undertaken, achieving a BAL 29 fire rating. Meanwhile, the ancient Jarrah, Karri, and Marri trees, which originally attracted the owners, were preserved by the architects.

 

Embarking on the home’s design, the team further wished to pay its respect to the land’s aboriginal heritage: ‘We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the aboriginal lands that we work and play the Wadandi people of the Noongar Nation their elders, past present and emerging. We acknowledge that aboriginal sovereignty was never ceded.’

suzanne hunt treehouse

 

 

inside the wooded treehouse retreat

 

The Treehouse residence is thoughtfully oriented by Suzanne Hunt Architect with an east-west axis, featuring two bedroom wings connected by a central living hub and a large garage. The private wing, elevated among the tree canopies, offers a snug, a main bedroom with picturesque views, and an ensuite with an outdoor shower on a floating deck. To the east, the secondary wing houses two bedrooms and a shared bathroom for guests. Large sliding doors can be closed to save energy and provide privacy when necessary.

 

The central living area caters to a couple who love entertaining friends and family. It encompasses a large kitchen, a generous island bench, extensive built-in joinery, a central dining table, and a cozy lounge area around a wood fire. Tall, narrow windows to the west frame captivating views of the natural landscape.

suzanne hunt treehouse
the home’s exterior is clad in Spotted Gum, a fire-resistant timber species

 

 

the good life: embracing sustainable living

 

Environmental sustainability is at the core of this residence. It features a 90,000-liter water tank, an Advanced Treatment Unit (ATU) for sewage, 12 kW of solar PV with batteries, passive solar ventilation, and optimal orientation. With the capacity to live off-grid, the Treehouse Residence is designed to thrive in all seasons.

 

Taking inspiration from the British television series ‘The Good Life,’ the homeowners have cultivated an impressive vegetable patch, supplying produce for themselves and their friends. They also source local produce and seafood from the nearby beach. What’s more, they have embarked on a mission to revegetate the site by planting over 2,000 local native species, aided by a landscape design that incorporates natural rock creeks for water management on the sloping terrain.

suzanne hunt treehouse
elevated in some sections on stilts, the structure occupies the land lightlysuzanne hunt treehousethe architecture adapts to its steeply sloping site

suzanne-hunt-architects-treehouse-australia-designboom-06a

to protect native wildlife, careful undergrowth clearing and tree planting were undertaken

suzanne hunt treehousecorten steel panels frame the entry area

suzanne-hunt-architects-treehouse-australia-designboom-08a

the central living area caters to a couple who love entertaining friends and family

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