Did you have a tree house when you were young? Most of us, if we didn’t, wanted one — but odds are that none of our tree houses would have looked quite like this San Diego family home by Safdie Rabines Architects! This home literally does sit high above the ground, amid the trees in Mission Hills, at the edge of a canyon. One thing’s for sure: the views from all points on this house are terrific — and, since one of Safdie Rabines’ driving aims is producing site-specific architecture that is both socially responsible and environmentally sustainable, creating this house to sit the way it does fulfills both counts. Nature is more than just an element in this house’s ambience: it’s part of the very essence — and the view from the top deck affords some awesome stargazing.
The main entrance of the house is just off a porch sheltered in partial shade by a wood-slatted “roof”; open-air is the name of the game here, with a living area segueing gracefully into a balcony. Indoors, the palette is clean white and wood grain; high windows lend themselves to easy cross-ventilation, while cleverly placed walls give these tree-dwellers privacy when they need it. And who wouldn’t want to entertain in that kitchen, with its classy wood island (containing handy wine storage) and the wall-wide window view? Even the dog is pleased: there’s room to roam here, room to grow, all with a minimal “footprint” and maximum enjoyment of your environment. Day or night, it’s all good at the Tree House!