This sprawling weekend retreat nestled at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Georgia encompasses a beautiful bamboo garden. Designed by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, the Tree House, Mountain House and Pond House blur the line between inside and outside and combine steel, concrete and timber to create an interplay of volumes, terraces and decks.
Overlooking the pasture of the Hambidge Center, a not-for-profit artist retreat, the compound provides scenic views of the landscape and functions as a quiet family sanctuary. Its design aims to create a seamless transition between inside and outside, while establishing a delicate balance between opaque volumes and transparent surfaces. The current owners occupy the main house, while the Tree House and Pond House are available to book on AirBnB.
The architects added the Mountain Tree House to the existing complex to meet the spatial needs of the growing family. It comprises a concrete garage used for working and gardening, a steel-clad bedroom and a beautiful bamboo deck. The garage is clad in raw concrete, while the bedroom volume above cantilevers over the work-yard and encloses a bamboo garden planted on the ground floor and reaching the top level. The bamboo plants grow through the narrow slots on the deck, creating a gorgeous outdoor space.
The timber structure and steel framing are combined with reinforced concrete walls. The deck and interior flooring are covered in black slate, while the ramp and handrails were built from self-weathering steel. The upper room is clad in steel panels, lap-jointed and welded. Large glass surfaces are either clear tempered or translucent laminated.
Photos by Timothy Hursley