New House, Toronto, NSW
Treetop house is a home and place of retreat for a couple and their family relocating to Lake Macquarie.
Located in Toronto, NSW the site is concealed from view behind a large gully of spotted gums. The site falls steeply to towards the picturesque Toronto foreshore as captured by the Indigenous name for the area; 'derah bambah' meaning 'rising ground'.
A dilapidated shack currently occupies the site and will be demolished to make way for the new home. Brickwork from the shack will be recovered for re-use.
Spatial planning for Treetop House is simple with the living areas and master bedroom located on the upper level to make the most of the views and north east solar orientation of the site. The lower level houses 2 bedrooms, a study and carport. The two storeys are linked via a cantilevered staircase with a carefully framed view of the lake and treetops as one ascends into the living area. Each space in the home has been carefully placed to capture the unique qualities of the site and create a connection between the indoor and outdoor environment.
The size of the ground floor has been minimized to allow the landscape to continue underneath the home creating a series of gardens to explore and experience the site from a lower level. A series of rain chains are connected to the gutter system creating a tranquil and spectacular view during rainfall, and are fed to an underground rainwater tank servicing the home.
Treetop house is inspired by the neutrality of Scandinavian design yet invites warmth and texture through materials such as recycled brickwork and sandstone, connecting the home to the ground on which it stands. The fireplace forms the heart of the home and acts as an inviting gesture, connecting the entry to the centre of the living area. Raked ceilings with exposed rafters create a sense of openness and calmness through repetition.