Architects: Sander Architects
Location: Wilmington, Delaware, USA
Project Year: 2002-2004
Construction Year: 2004-2006
Photographs: Sander Architects
The design and building of Tree House was a labor of love. I designed this house for my sister, her first house. The death of our father allowed her the funds to build it.
Tree House sits on a cul-de-sac at the end of a mature subdivision in Wilmington, DE, USA. It is filled with century-old deciduous trees, which form a magnificent canopy 150 feet above the site. A stream runs around the house, and because of certain restrictions of the Army Corps of Engineers and because of the potential for flooding, the buildable area is quite small. This induced us to design a vertical house, with raised Living Room and Master Suite. These spaces give one the feeling of being in the trees.
The stairs inside were fabricated at the performance stage shop where my sister works. They are made of 1/2″ aluminum plate, with two treads in each unit. Shades of purple set the color scheme: dark aubergine curtains, a grey-purple stone for the wall which encloses the fireplace and media storage. Horizontal windows encircle the house, providing select views into the landscape. In contrast to these small views, a great wrapping window in the double-height Living Room provides a dominant diagonal focus for the house, and leads views into the deep woods to the northeast.
A roof deck provides a view in all directions from a height of 35 feet in the air.