This green tree house blends in well with the trees around it. The design of it covers all the most important criteria, the best choice of building materials, going with the natural flow of the environment and the site where the house is located, being whimsical with the structure while adapting it to the exact spot where it will spend the rest of its life. It did take nearly ten years to complete and it is as if the house slowly grew there. The building has a long life expectancy.
Robert Harvey Oshatz is the architect for this curving wood, stone and metal home where indoors and outdoors merge and the forest becomes part of the house. It is an organic home though much different from the mud, clay and stick organics of cob or cordwood homes. The metal in it has taken on a naturally rusted look. It is a partly modern, abstract and naturalistic design. It is a tree house only in the sense that it lives in the trees. It is much more impressive and grander than the typical tree house but serves as an example of how much house can be built without clear cutting the woods on the site.
View the attached slide show to see how uniquely detailed this home is and how artistically it uses geometric shapes. Even the front entry door is not a plain rectangle and it is juxtaposed to the round room of glass where you can see through as a portal. Note the random stone floor and the built-in lounge in the round room that looks like something from a space ship but is a mass of passive solar with loads of daylight even in the middle of a forest. The kitchen is completely functional but looks more like a storage wall with appliances secreted away. Coming up from the deck side, you would not know what the deck is or how it is suspended there.
It is all a fine example of how natural and green building does not confine you to any one type of architecture. Although they built a very large deck in this instance, it has little effect on the animal and plant life beneath it and maintains a smaller carbon footprint. A picture of Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s creation of the house built over a waterfall is included in the slide show just because it is so amazing and is another example of using your imagination when building in nature with continuity between inside and outside. It was the Edgar Kaufmann residence but is now cared for by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
Some of the green architects in Greenville who can help with creative home designs like this are Addison Homes, McMillan Pazdan Smith, Johnston Design Group, Crozier Architecture, and DP3 Architecture. You do not need to be the owner of a waterfall or forest. There are plenty of natural settings in the area where a green home can be nestled with less harm done to the environment and no need for acres of grass that require mowing and irrigating.