When a 40-year-old pine tree fell over at the rear of a Brentwood estate in Los Angeles, the owner decided to honor its resilience by incorporating it into a 172-square-foot office / guest house.
While most tree houses have a trunk running vertically, this one floats above the tree, suggesting the delicate tension between nature and the built environment. A gallery and a guest cottage ‚Äì it’s perched atop a hill and overlooks canyon vistas, downtown Los Angeles and the Getty Center.
The creators are Rockefeller Partners Architects, which spent about eight months on the design. ‚ÄúWe had a bunch of fun with it.‚Äù said Chris Kempel, the project‚Äôs architect.
The entry and stairs to the tree house complex was sculpted from exposed, unpainted concrete, designed to suggest the ladder of a traditional tree house.
The tree house serves as well as¬† modern-day amenities like a daybed, a sink, a toilet, a small refrigerator, a fireplace and a microwave.
To connect back to the fallen tree, the architects carved a portal in the walnut floor, affording a view of the inspiration for the house itself.
Materials and craft has a significant role inside and out. The columns are Type 316 stainless steel ‚Äì almost nautical grade. Floors and walls are walnut; windows are mahogany.
The whole process of designing the house took about eight months.Construction of the inhabitable sculpture, with its studio and lounge, took another 18 months.
Large floor-to-ceiling windows and doors provide abundant natural light and ventilation.
The outdoor shower below the tree house was shaped and formed from concrete to be a truly private experience.
Photos by: Eric Staudenmaier