Design & Build: Mia Asker & Simon Robertson

Project Brief:

The brief for this new north-west facing tree house on the Northern Beaches was to maximise natural light and ventilation, optimising the exposure to the view from it’s elevated position whilst minimising the impact on the trees and surrounding bush.

Special Features:

This unique home is set deep into the hill to limit the visible bulk of the structure from the from the street below and to comply with local planning regulations on this predominantly shale and sandstone landslide affected block.

A three meter high concrete block wall was engineered to envelop the garage and ground floor levels, effectively retaining the hill whilst allowing us to design a functional, thermally sound structure comprising garage, utilities areas and a studio.

Large, cantilevered concrete platforms were keyed into the concrete block walls to shape what looks like floating floors overlooking the treetops and filtered water views. Thanks to Maurice’s understanding of what we were wanting to achieve and the materials being used we could create a living wing that is dangerously cantilevered over the sloping hill allowing uninterrupted views both from the balcony and garden below. The off-form concrete columns supporting the living floor are almost invisible.

The cantilevered roof structures sit firmly on a solid steel portal frame. Wanting to ensure maximum views from every room the oversized timber sliding doors are engineered to hang from the timber enclosed steel beams making the 120kg doors easy to slide with no concern for deflection.

Owner Testimonial:

“During the early stages of planning this unique project we sought advice from Maurice Dawson of Law & Dawson to ensure the best possible outcome. His recommendations proved invaluable and his innovative expertise allowed us to design and build a structure that looks to defy gravity”.

“What was a complicated design and build process was made so much easier knowing we have an engineer we can rely on who gives us sound and cost-effective advice working with us as part of our team”.