It seems we may never be too old to live in a treehouse — at least one that’s 3,700 square feet and incorporates a variety of sustainable features. Known as the Wonderland Park Residence, this home is perched on a hillside of Laurel Canyon in California. The designers and owners wanted to honor the history of the ranch house, originally built in 1956, while bringing in modern comforts, innovations and energy savings. The result is a home with an indoor/outdoor flow that puts the lush surrounding landscape in the center of every view.
The finished Wonderland Park Residence follows an extensive remodel of the original structure, plus a second-story addition that added more space with minimal site impact.
While developing the plan for the four-bedroom, three-bathroom house with a pool, the team at Assembledge+, in collaboration with Vanessa Alexander, implemented passive design and natural materials wherever possible. A 30-foot-long skylight provides natural light and an architectural divide between the old and the new. Large windows and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors keep the space well-lit while aiding with passive temperature control. A graywater system drains to the surrounding forest for recycled irrigation.
Attention to details on the interior include the use of formaldehyde-free MDF cabinetry in the kitchen and bathrooms. Caesarstone, a brand of durable quartz, countertops also outfit these spaces. The roof is oriented to the south and equipped with solar panels for renewable energy production, while the exterior of the home is clad in sustainably harvested Western Red Cedar.
The team’s goal was not only to pay homage to the midcentury home and surrounding residences but to embrace the natural appeal of the native landscape. To this end, the upstairs primary suite appears to be immersed in the trees from every window. Similarly, the kitchen and main hub of the home offers an encompassing view of the back living space. The entire lower floor draws the eye from the front yard straight through to the pool area, creating an open flow and blurring the lines between indoors and out.
Photography by Laure Joliet via Assembledge+