Australian Tree-House Is Friends With Koalas

There are those of you (you know you you are) who have always dreamed of living in a tree-house. And there are no doubt many more of you who’ve always dreamed of moving to Australia. This rainforest tree-house — selected by the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) as its 2012 House of the Year — could help you fulfill both of these bucket-list items in one fell swoop (provided you can convince its current occupants to move out).

The home appears to ‘float’ above the forest floor on a secluded and private lot in the foothills of Mt Whitfield in Cairns, supported by a galvanized steel support structure. The design, by mmp Architects, focuses on minimizing disturbance to the surrounding forest with a low-maintenance home that ArchDaily characterizes as embodying “a relaxed ambience [and] structural honesty,” allowing for plenty natural light and ventilation.

tree-house, Australia

image via mmp Architects

By retaining nearly all of the existing trees on the site and utilizing subdued colors, in tune with the surrounding environment, the home blends organically into the forest, making it nearly invisible from the city in the valley below.  The home’s ample windows, however, feature not just views of nature, but a view of the city in the distance, offering its owners a unique vantage point.

treehouse, Australia, 2

image via mmp Architects

Green features include a solar photovoltaic system (which provides for most of the home’s electricity needs) and solar hot water. Care was taken to create a residence that would require very little in the way of maintenance, increasing its longevity and durability (both factors in its overall green performance) via long-term, low maintenance materials. Low-VOC paints were utilized, as was sustainably harvested/plantation-grown timber and locally sourced stones for retaining walls.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

    • Deane_diane

      I want it, I want it really badly
      !!