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Treehouse, Castanes Architects, low impact design, retractable staircase, vacation house, cabin retreat

Perched on four concrete columns, the cabin is accessed by a motorized staircase that can be lifted like a drawbridge, providing security when the owners are away. The small footprint of the house on the ground minimizes disturbance on the surrounding forest and provides a convenient place to park the owner’s car.

Oriented to the south, the home draws in lots of natural daylight and takes advantage of solar gain when it is available. The walls are heavily insulated and tight in order to minimize thermal losses.

Inside, an efficient layout and multi-functional design components minimize the square footage. For example a kitchen counter on cranks lowers to dinner table height. The toilet is a waterless composting toilet, the flooring is cork and the exterior siding is Ipe. Eco-friendly and high quality materials were chosen for their durability and longevity as a way of maximizing the lifespan of the building.

Alev Seyman of Castanes Architects tells us, “The most un-green thing to do, would be misusing a product and then having to replace it a few years down the road.”

Images © Castanes Architects