Rome-based architects MORQ built this beautiful Karri Loop House just south of Perth, Australia with a deliberate focus on conservation. The private home was literally constructed around the property's native Karri tree and a pair of Marri trees. Before construction started, the architects and homeowners consulted with a renowned arborist, who approved the ambitious design that would see the stunning home living in harmony with the indigenous trees.
The project took on a protectionist angle from the start, with the architects convincing the property owners that it was possible to build a beautiful home on the land without cutting down the native trees. Not only did the design call for a high level of creativity and determination in terms of building materials and strategies, but the architects also shunned traditional foundations in the name of conservation. In order to protect the indigenous trees’ shallow roots for years to come, the design team raised the structure completely off the ground by using steel tripod footings.
An interesting aspect to the Karri Loop House design is that the architects used the trees as a stylistic advantage instead of treating them as an obstacle. The H-shape layout that wraps around the tree trunks and creates a pair of asymmetrical courtyards for the single-storey home creates an unusual, but incredibly dynamic atmosphere. The interior is clad in an airy natural plywood and many of the rooms have large wooden ceiling beams that add to the home’s natural spacious look. High ceilings and large windows illuminate the interior with natural light and allow residents to truly appreciate the indigenous trees surrounding the home. The roof is equipped with a rainwater harvesting system, which drains rainwater to an irrigation system in order to feed the tree roots.
For exterior space, a raised deck was installed along the home’s northern side to provide residents and guests with an outdoor seating area beneath the canopy of the majestic Karri tree. A large vertical window installed in the triangular terrace at the end of the living room allows for further views of the tree. Say the architects, “We like to think of this project as a mutually beneficial development; the building is designed to retain the trees, while the trees visually contribute to the quality of the inner space.”
Photography by Peter Bennetts