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Tree Top House

Metcalfe Architecture & Design

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  • Alan Metcalfe AIA, LEED AP

Project Status



3,775 sq. feet


Design Awards

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Project Description

Design and planning objectives included increasing square footage without adding footprint, renovating first and second floors, utilizing universal design principles to make the house accessible to all including their aging mother, using design language to unite its three eras of design-1950's, 1970's and contemporary, and adding a master suite. Special considerations were the site location—a sloped site and dense woods (which resulted in flooding, water and humidity damage); outdated building codes (which permitted the original house to use thin wall and roof profiles); and drainage issues from the previous renovation. Working with the bones of the structure, we pushed the upper level into the treetops; expanded second-floor living space and entry; and renovated kitchen, living areas and bathrooms—modernizing the property while maintaining its historic mid-century charm. We reconfigured the small, existing entrance into a skylit two-story entry hall, crossed by a steel-and-glass footbridge on the second story. The new second-story master suite is spacious and light-filled with clerestory windows and cantilevered balcony. In keeping with the mid-century modern design, horizontally-battened Hardie Board panels work in concert with existing vertical battens. We deserve an award because we: - Created an addition in keeping with the building's style- mid century and 1970's addition - Reconfigured the house to reflect the way the owners live by creating an entrance from the driveway - Created romantic rooms in the sky using existing site assets of trees and slope - Accommodated the clients' aging parents with universally accessible spaces like bathrooms and bedrooms, turning radii and fixtures - Design deftly melds three different periods of architecture together
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