Australia-based architects Steven Isaacs and Lisa Saville have turned a challenging building site into an environmentally sensitive sanctuary among the trees. Located just outside Sydney, the couple’s stunning abode is a lofty duplex built around the existing nature with an ultra-light footprint – an example of how thoughtful design can translate into stylish, sustainable living.

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Each of the two side-by-side dwellings have open floor plans that spill out over eight steel piers with high, spacious decks. Kitchen, living, and dining rooms fill the upper, street level of the structures; bedrooms and creative space are tucked in on the lower level against the rock embankment.

The relationship between outdoor and indoor living spaces is one without boundaries – an earned reward for building without any excavation or removal of trees. A 30-meter high eucalyptus grows through the deck of designer’s home as a reminder of their diligent efforts to keep nature undisturbed.

The surrounding vegetation, including “council protected” trees, creates a unique setting and helps shade the structure. A “butterfly” roof allows natural daylighting into the upper levels and diverts rainwater into 9,000-liter cisterns. The harvested water is used for toilets, laundry, landscaping, and the garden.