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green design, eco design, sustainable design, beach house, herbst Architecture, Pohutukawa trees, New Zealand, Auckland, tree house, glass curtain

The pre-existing Pohutukawa treeson the clients’ property posed a challenge for Herbst, but ended up becoming the inspiration for the design. Not wanting to clear the area or remove any trees, the architects chose to work around them. Their solution was to organize the living space into two realms: private and common.

The private areas became the bedrooms and garage. In order to not disrupt the trees, Herbst constructed two towers to house these rooms, which resemble freshly sawn tree stumps. The exterior of the towers was covered with pieces of wood of varying sizes, painted a dark brown- giving a bark-like effect. Large corner-cut windows flood the bedrooms with light, but also reveal natural light colored timber to the outside, further pushing the freshly sawn tree design.

The main living space connects the private towers on either side and is clad with a floor to ceiling glass curtain. Inside, natural light floods in along with an envious view. The inhabitants can sit in their living room and feel as if they are amdist the trees, as the main boughs are at eye level of the second floor living area. Wooden porches wrap around the entire façade, and are capped off by a frayed edge roof which filters light into the residence with the same effect as being naturally filtered through the leaf canopy. The simple mid-century modern furnishings do not distract from the beauty of the exterior.

+ Herbst Architects

Via The Coolist