Is it possible for a house of strong modern architecture to be built at one with nature? It does sounds quite conflicting but this project manages to do what many would doubt possible.
This home by ZD+A was designed in a way that encouraged an engagement between the building and nature. The architects aimed for the trees and plants to grow and attach themselves to the three level structure, creating a surprising home where nature and the built form blur.
Confused? You'll soon discover what we mean…
In many ways this home redefines the relationship between a house and its environment. Built as cantilever design, we can see how the geometric volumes protrude and retreat depending on the landscape, creating a home that seemingly changes depending upon where the observer stands.
Notice how certain structural connections are exaggerated to express the idea that the building is hovering, leaving the nature below untouched. We can also see how the lower level is sunk deep into the earth. This sunken level was chosen since the topography of the site was naturally undulating.
We take the staged stone steps from the lawn down to the sunken level of the home where we find ourselves in the open air courtyard. This informal eating area exudes a peaceful atmosphere where nature takes centre stage.
There's an almost tropical flavour to the space since the plants appear to be creepers and luxuriant types that offer plenty of foliage.
The shade provided by the main building, coupled with the cooling effect from the plants, means that this space is always a moderate temperature and can be enjoyed during any month of the year.
The family living room opens up to the rear courtyard, bounded by staged stone garden beds and plants that have managed to creep up the walls of the building. The décor isn't what we were expecting to find as we detect a mix of vintage, contemporary and hand-crafted furniture items.
There is a certain familiarity to the interior due to the eclectic mix of furniture and diverse arrangement of artwork. We are particularly big fans of the brown leather sofas that pair wonderfully with the bulky timber coffee table and stools.
The main bathroom combines the light hues and stone finishes with geometric 21st century fittings and fixtures. It's a sophisticated modern sanctuary located in a quieter portion of the home within close proximity of the bedrooms.
This is a room that's filled with extravagant features. Arguably, the most spectacular being the free-standing bathtub, which is an elegant, classical design.
A second living room found on an upper level is a more modern incarnation of the previous. This room is more open to the elements and fulfils a more formal scheme. Though that's not to say this space is lacking in the same eclectic freedom we saw in the other lounge. Far from it, actually.
The furniture is more modern and is paired with various accessories that provide different textures and colours, helping give the space character.
The landscaped garden is hugely influential in both the layout and decorative elements found in each room, including the balconies and sunken courtyards. This photo illustrates how nature has reclaimed part of the landscape as we see plants climb skywards up the structure's walls.
To explore another home that has been built with nature at the forefront of its design, be sure to check out: The Seductive Home Hiding in the Forest.