In the undulating terrains of Mt Whitfield, Cairns, Australia, a masterpiece effortlessly floats, minimizing environmental impact. Dubbed the Hp TreeHouse, this creation by the renowned Australian firm, mmp Architects, was meticulously crafted to meld seamlessly with its lush surroundings, while being virtually unseen from the city beneath.
The chief aim of the design was a low maintenance home. This vision was actualized through an innovative approach where the home, instead of traditionally resting on the ground, hovers above it, supported by a framework of galvanized steel. This not only reduced the footprint but ensured the environment remained undisturbed.
As you approach the property, a drive ushers you to the single-story marvel made up of three pavilions. These are ingeniously linked with breezeways, navigating the towering terminalia and quandong trees indigenous to the region. Central to the home is a living space that appears to bring the outside in, thanks to a fully glazed wall. Adjacent to it is a dining area, where guests can dine under a canopy, fully immersed in nature’s embrace.
Further elevating the experience is the master bedroom and adjoining bathroom. These spaces boast a unique view of a rock face which, in the rainy season, transforms into a cascading waterfall. Structurally, the north-south orientation, combined with a system of louvers, channels the wind, ensuring natural ventilation. Supporting the roof are exposed laminated timber beams, with a translucent membrane amplifying natural daylight inside.
Echoing its respect for the environment, the Hp TreeHouse is integrated with contemporary eco-friendly features. Solar power harnessed through PV panels heats the water, while the choice of durable materials—colorbond steel, aluminum windows, and steel structure—guarantee minimal future maintenance. Complementing these are low VOC paints, sustainably harvested wood, and locally sourced stone, emphasizing sustainability.
From its inception to execution, the Hp TreeHouse stands as a testament to what’s achievable when man’s ingenuity harmoniously intersects with nature’s beauty.