A Childhood Hideaway - The Treehouse by Crump Architects
Dynnyrne, TAS, Australia
Nestled amongst peppermint gums and casuarinas, the Crump Treehouse is an A-frame hideaway designed for the architect’s two boys and their friends, a project that captures the spirit and excitement of a childhood retreat where imaginations can run wild.
The Treehouse is constructed largely of recycled and salvaged materials, including some items from a neighbour’s recently-demolished carport. The project was a true labour of love, built on weekends by Crump Architects principal Nathan Crump and his family with zero input of trades. Approaching the project in this way gave the architect and family the ability to modify the design as they went, and the added satisfaction of seeing their work completed.
A glazed window-seat is constructed using excess pool balustrading, an example of the creative use of reclaimed and recycled materials.
The interior, clad in Baltic pine with a wood stove, recalls the atmosphere of a cabin.
Set on a steeply sloping site in Dynnyrne overlooking Hobart and the Derwent River, the Crump Treehouse is accessed by a series of floating-timber duckboards, a mature gum towering above supports one side of the structure, the sharp slope of the adjacent hill supporting the other. The steep roof, angled at 70 degrees, defined the form of the building and both reflects and is juxtaposed with the slope of the site.
The project was a true labour of love, built on weekends by Crump Architects principal Nathan Crump and his family with zero input of trades.
The acute angle of the roof is beneficial in shedding falling leaves, as the Treehouse is tucked beneath the canopy of a gumtree. The A-frame structure also provides increased interior height, adding useable loft space within the small footprint, widening at the base to create child-friendly nooks. With loft, daybed and a small indoor woodstove, the Treehouse is the ideal escape for adults and children alike, a private space in which the boys have a measure of independence in their own backyard and where anyone can enjoy the quiet and comfort of being nestled up in the treetops.
A loft is located in the tip of the A-frame, while a day bed provides the perfect place for both relaxation and play.
The glazed facade to the north-east captures views and sunshine.
The interior is clad in white-washed Baltic pine, creating a classic cabin-like atmosphere, the natural materiality providing both aesthetic warmth and a robust interior lining. The north-east facade is fully glazed to take advantage of the views and sunshine, and a window-box to the south (made from excess glass pool balustrade) extends the internal volume, borrowing additional space. Meanwhile, an up-cycled western red cedar door opens from the roof to provide direct access to the tree trunk and summer breeze.
A project on the smallest of scales, the Crump Treehouse may be created with children in mind, yet with its clarity of form, robust natural materiality and glazed walls, it is a mature architecture, emphasising the universal nature of good design.