Tree House, Palo Alto, California. Aidlin Darling Design.
“Anchored by monumental coastal live oaks and majestic redwoods, this modest sustainably designed suburban home offers expansive living spaces that extend into the landscape. The owner brought specific criteria to the design process that would ultimately personalize its outcome.
The existing trees inform a spatial arrangement of framed views, outdoor rooms, and screening for privacy. A series of interlocking vertical and horizontal volumes help to obscure the demarcation of inside and outside. Concrete floors, wood ceilings, and reflection from glass participate in a virtual fusion between the home’s interior and its landscape. A zinc metal canopy mediates the home’s relationship to its surroundings and serves to edit unwanted views of neighboring properties and affords mutual privacy.
The zinc skin frames a stand of redwoods at the entry provides privacy for sleeping spaces on the second floor while engaging adjacent tree canopies, and lifts at the ground floor to allow interior space to spill into the landscape. This spatial arrangement enables passive ventilation and stack effect, bringing fresh air thru the ground floor and the upper loft spaces.
The home’s concrete plinth, steel and glass armature, and zinc skin respond to the site’s high-water table and resonate with its natural splendor.”
Photo credit: Adam Rouse