The house is built among mature Jerusalem pine trees. Two of the trees have grown in the exact place where the house was to be located. The site was tight, leading to the decision to integrate the two trees within the perimeter of the house. Preserving and integrating the mature trees as part of the house required attention and care. It was a daring decision that resulted in a house with a special ambience.
The house, which now appears to have grown there, actually began as a recycled shipping container. It was built by using prefabrication wherever possible, with all the interior finishes, insulation andstructures completed off site. It was brought to the site fully ready to serve as a residence. The timber cladding, the light roof over a steel ceiling, stone work, and decks were designed in advance, and were complimented by works on site, after the house was occupied.
Prefabrication was chosen in order to meet the tight timeframe and budget, but also as part of the strategy to preserve the trees. With the local building practice, which is typically heavy masonry construction, it would be impossible to save and preserve the trees.
The pines not only make this unique house attractive, but also serve as a natural source of air conditioning and their shade protects the timber from the harsh sun.
The pine trees were studied as part of the design process. Their continued growth is monitored and responded to, resulting in a house that is a living structure.