One hundred years of history is nothing to sneeze at, which is why London-based architecture firm Edgley Design carefully preserved a century-old pear tree by building a house around it. Located in London, the home—aptly named the Pear Tree House—is a light-filled abode that’s decidedly contemporary in appearance but also incorporates historical references. In addition to its environmentally sensitive design, the home boasts energy-saving features such as rainwater harvesting, thermodynamic roof panels, and air-source heat pumps.
The 425-square-meter Pear Tree House is a self-build project for the firm director Jake Edgley’s own family home. To preserve the 100-year-old pear tree—a remnant of the site’s past as a Victorian fruit orchard—the architects split the house into two volumes that frame the tree in an internal courtyard and are linked by a green-roofed glass walkway. The entire structure is elevated on pile foundations to avoid damage to the tree roots. The walls of the home that face the courtyard are glazed to bring natural light, views, and ventilation into the home and allow the street-facing facade to remain mostly closed for privacy.
The interior of the home is also arranged for optimal solar orientation, from the kitchen in the northeast that takes advantage of morning light to the southwest living areas that are bathed in afternoon light. The interior layout features mostly open-plan spaces that can be easily modified if and when the homeowners’ mobility becomes limited. Board-marked concrete walls on the ground floor give the home texture, while timber surfaces such as the bespoke joinery made from oak veneer lend warmth to the restrained interior palette.
Images via Edgley Design, by Jack Hobhouse