Architecture

Architect builds passively-cooled Tree Top Studio

Architect builds passively-coo...
Tree Top Studio was completed in 2014 (Photo: Sam Noonan)
Tree Top Studio was completed in 2014 (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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Max Pritchard tackled all of the design and construction himself (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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Max Pritchard tackled all of the design and construction himself (Photo: Sam Noonan)
Tree Top Studio was completed in 2014 (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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Tree Top Studio was completed in 2014 (Photo: Sam Noonan)
The two-story circular structure rises between the trees (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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The two-story circular structure rises between the trees (Photo: Sam Noonan)
Access to the studio is gained via timber bridge (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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Access to the studio is gained via timber bridge (Photo: Sam Noonan)
The work space offers a view over the trees to the nearby Adelaide coast (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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The work space offers a view over the trees to the nearby Adelaide coast (Photo: Sam Noonan)
The Tree Top Studio comprises a total floorspace of 25 sq m (269 sq ft) (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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The Tree Top Studio comprises a total floorspace of 25 sq m (269 sq ft) (Photo: Sam Noonan)
The interior was designed to follow the pattern seen on the roof and wall, and the bookshelves and windows are positioned accordingly (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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The interior was designed to follow the pattern seen on the roof and wall, and the bookshelves and windows are positioned accordingly (Photo: Sam Noonan)
Max Pritchard didn't install any air-conditioning or heating, but instead relies on passive methods of temperature control (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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Max Pritchard didn't install any air-conditioning or heating, but instead relies on passive methods of temperature control (Photo: Sam Noonan)
The studio, seen next to Max Pritchard's house (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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The studio, seen next to Max Pritchard's house (Photo: Sam Noonan)
The Tree Top Studio was completed in 2014 (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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The Tree Top Studio was completed in 2014 (Photo: Sam Noonan)
Access to the studio is gained via timber bridge (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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Access to the studio is gained via timber bridge (Photo: Sam Noonan)
The two-story circular structure rises between the trees (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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The two-story circular structure rises between the trees (Photo: Sam Noonan)
Two vertical banks of glass louvers enable the prevailing breeze to enter and keep the interior at a bearable temperature (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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Two vertical banks of glass louvers enable the prevailing breeze to enter and keep the interior at a bearable temperature (Photo: Sam Noonan)
The studio, seen next to Max Pritchard's house (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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The studio, seen next to Max Pritchard's house (Photo: Sam Noonan)
The studio, seen next to Max Pritchard's house (Photo: Sam Noonan)
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The studio, seen next to Max Pritchard's house (Photo: Sam Noonan)
Architectural drawing of the Tree Top Studio (Image: Max Pritchard Architect)
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Architectural drawing of the Tree Top Studio (Image: Max Pritchard Architect)
Architectural drawing of the Tree Top Studio (Image: Max Pritchard Architect)
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Architectural drawing of the Tree Top Studio (Image: Max Pritchard Architect)
Architectural drawing of the Tree Top Studio (Image: Max Pritchard Architect)
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Architectural drawing of the Tree Top Studio (Image: Max Pritchard Architect)
Architectural drawing of the Tree Top Studio (Image: Max Pritchard Architect)
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Architectural drawing of the Tree Top Studio (Image: Max Pritchard Architect)
Architectural drawing of the Tree Top Studio (Image: Max Pritchard Architect)
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Architectural drawing of the Tree Top Studio (Image: Max Pritchard Architect)
View gallery - 20 images

What do you do if you're an award-winning architect in need of a new home office, and you don't want to extend or alter your impressive heritage-listed home? Well, if you happen to be Australia's Max Pritchard, you roll your sleeves up and get busy building yourself an equally impressive forest retreat in your garden.

With the exception of the wiring, Pritchard tackled all of Tree Top Studio's design and construction himself, including the bookcase and circular table that are installed within.

"I think many architects would benefit from making the time to get this sort of experience," Pritchard told Dezeen. "I'm probably going too far to say designers should be able to build their own designs, but certainly if they could build small structures it would help their understanding of the construction process and materials."

Max Pritchard tackled all of the design and construction himself (Photo: Sam Noonan)
Max Pritchard tackled all of the design and construction himself (Photo: Sam Noonan)

The two-story structure takes its place well within the trees and comprises a timber frame clad in golden plywood sheeting. It features a total floorspace of 25 sq m (269 sq ft), and its interior design echoes the pattern on the studio's roof and wall, with the bookshelves and windows positioned accordingly.

Pritchard didn't install any air-conditioning or heating, but instead relies on passive methods of temperature control. Two vertical banks of glass louvers enable the prevailing breeze to enter and keep the interior at a bearable temperature. When the louvers are closed, solar heat gain is used to keep Pritchard warm enough too (Adelaide's winters are relatively mild). Access is gained by timber bridge.

The Tree Top Studio was completed in 2014.

Source: Max Pritchard Architect via Arch Daily

View gallery - 20 images
3 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really nice.
Riaanh
Well done Max, a very nice retreat.
It would make the life of engineers all over the world much easier if all architects had this outlook to design.
I like the way in which the structural components of his house has become architectural features. (Or has the architectural features become structural components?)
Robert Walther
Very nice! Why is the work table so tiny, tiny to the point of awkward to useless for working.