golany architects: two tree house
golany architects: two tree house golany architects: two tree house
mar 29, 2012

golany architects: two tree house

two-tree house by golany architects, israel

two-tree house was designed by tel-aviv based practice golany architects. the house is constructed among mature jerusalem pine trees. two of the trees have grown in the exact place where the house was to be located. the site was tight, and this led to the decision to integrate the two trees within the perimeter of the house. preserving and rendering the mature trees as part of the house required attention and care. it was a daring decision that resulted in a house with a special ambiance.

the house, which now appears to have grown there, actually began as a recycled shipping container.

it was constructed by applying prefabrication wherever possible, with all the interior finishes, insulation and structure completed off-site. it was brought to the site fully prepared to serve as a dwelling. the timber cladding, light roof over steel ceiling, stone work, and decks were designed in advance, and were complimented by works on site, after the house was inhabited.

prefabrication was chosen to achieve the tight timeframe and budget, but also as part of the strategy to preserve the trees. with the local construction practice, which is typically heavy masonry construction, it would be impossible to save and preserve the trees. the pines not only lend desirability to this unique house but also serve as a natural source of air-conditioning. their shade also protects the timber from the harsh sun.

the pine trees were examined as part of the design process. their continued growth is monitored and responded to, which results in a house that is a living structure. 

two mature pine trees, integrated within the design of two-tree house

prefabrication was also a mean to preserve and protect the trees

timber cladding was designed to suit the diy capabilities of the owner. the cladding helps to keep the steel container temperature down.

the shutters close the house envelope into a timber box

looking towards the far view

the trees lend the house a special ambiance

the continued growth of the trees is monitored and responded to

left: the stones are local stones collected on site, right: the trees serve as a natural source of air-conditioning. their shade also protects the timber from the harsh sun.

the recycled shipping containers were prefabricated and brought to site ready to serve as a dwelling

floor plan

conceptual sketch

project info:

architect: golany architects – yaron golany and galit golany http://www.golanyarchitects.com/ location: nr jerusalem, israel interior area: 45 sqm photographs: yaron golany

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions’  feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here

  • I like it. Inspiring.

    Jorge says:
  • want to live in this house….

    sue says:
  • The house is small, and it is good it has these terraces and trees to give it extra space and that feeling of living almost outside.

    brett says:
  • I saw a house years ago that shaded a large portion of the root ball – the tree died. Maybe this large pine will get lucky if there is enough water for the tap root.

    I do like the use of containers. They are nicely disguised. ..nice stone work. Nice job.


    Jim Cancil says:
  • יפה !

    עפרי says:
  • Question: where do they have lunch? On the uncovered terrasse? Impossible to use the two with trees, too small.

    iBouc says:
  • I have always had a dream of living in a tree house. Now I know it can be realized. Love it.

    Jenny says:
  • it ‘s great

    thitiya says:
  • bad! trees should stay alone, outside, to contemplate and take a rest under their shadows…

    Claudio says:
  • they give life to the tree and share in the house, but………….. like all de classic close architects……… why they did´t want to se the beautifull views!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for me is stupid to be so close in that kind of landscape

    antinaco says:
  • It is so inspiring! Making the trees an integral part of the experience of living in this house is so appealing to me. I wish to live in such proximity to trees, and nature in general.

    Lilian says:
  • my country is used to cut down trees and clear the place before building anything
    at least, the rooms will be swept in the same time a storm will blow up the trees !
    nevertheless it is an romantic sign of a love for our Earth

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

latest news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
501,537 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample