the tree house, coledale.
builderandy staig constructions

sallie moffatt


The Tree House design capitalizes on the sense of earthiness, tranquility and protection offered by the site, a small patch of remnant coastal rainforest, South of Sydney. The vision for the house was a simple living deck, open to the coastal summer breeze but sheltered and warm in winter, using natural materials to blend with the surrounds.

 Being close to the creek, council codes limited the building to a small footprint with other constraints being no ready road access, a sewer manhole, riparian zoning, flood issues and neighbor amenity.

 This difficult brief was resolved by the construction of a steel-framed hardwood bridge over the creek, leading to a small two-bedroom, two-story family home. The extended living space on the lower level is surrounded by large glass sliding doors that open fully to the creek outside. The entry is from the bridge on the upper level, which includes the private elements of the building: bedrooms, the main bathroom and garage.

 There is a small courtyard walled by sandstone with an outdoor cooking and dining area, while the remainder of the site is maintained with regenerated local native bush flora, bringing a large variety of native birds and other fauna.

 Materially, the house reflects the environment by primarily utilising natural materials: timber, stone and steel. Recycled Australian hardwood is used both internally and externally, softening and warming the structure and creating a generous intimacy in the interior while the double glazed windows capture the dappled northern light and buffer the temperature, both winter and summer.

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