Energy efficient Treehaus spins elegantly down a forested hillside
Utah's Summit Park is home to an eye-catching new hillside abode consisting of stacked cubes that gently rotate as they head up toward the canopy. The recently completed Treehaus has a big focus on energy efficiency to soften the blow of the area's harsh winter climate, with a low-profile dark cedar facade that helps it blend into its pine forest surroundings.
Designed by local architecture firm Park City Design+Build, the Treehaus isn't a treehouse in the traditional sense, but does provide plenty of opportunity to take in the fresh forest air with the deck spaces opened up by its revolving form. This also allows for different perspectives on the environment and certainly gives the home a distinctive look, as lead architect Chris Price explains.
"The rotated cubes allow for a number of architectural opportunities," the Park City Design+Build co-founder tells New Atlas. "Firstly, by stepping back each level they allow deck space on each level, by rotating them they provide differing view and vantage points up the wooded canyon, and by articulating them in this manner it steps the house up the hillside providing some aesthetics."
The home is built to Passivhaus standards, meaning it makes careful use of insulation, high-performance glazing and an extremely tight building envelope to keep its internal temperatures stable without artificial cooling or heating. Embedding the cubes into the hillside within stepped retaining walls was key to this, as were the materials used.
"This house is about using less energy in a very efficient shell," Price continues. "The walls are 12-inch R-48 (high insulation rating), with triple pane windows all placed to utilize passive solar and the views up the wooded canyon. The systems in the house are all high efficiency, and due to the low heat/cooling loads, the house uses a fraction of the heating/cooling energy a comparable house would."
The 3,600-sq ft (334-sq m) home spreads its floorspace over four floors, with the patios adjoining the living areas intended to create some fluidity between the indoor and outdoor leisure spaces. Meanwhile, the private spaces, such as the bathrooms and bathrooms, are located on the lower and upper levels.
These are connected by custom-built staircases, with lightly colored oak floors contrasting with darker fixtures and exposed steel beams throughout. The abode boasts four bedrooms in all, with the master suite complete with an office and steam shower found on the upper level.
Price and his team completed the Treehaus last month and have since placed it on the market with an asking price of US$1.1 million. Have more of a look around in our gallery.
Source: Park City Design+Build