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Holiday Gift Guide

A House in the Trees (and Trees in the House)

2012 March 23

I used to have a tree house when I was younger. Given, it was mostly on the ground, but it was attached to the side of a tree at least. It was two stories and painted red. Very swanky. Apart from falling out of it a couple of times, I thought it was the coolest tree house ever. But not anymore.

Completed in 2011 by Paz Arquitectura, the following home is three stories of windows, wood, rocks and concrete, built within–and around–the treesĀ  in Santa Rosalia, Guatemala City, Guatemala. The exterior is amazing, with blocks of exposed concrete accented by walls of warm wood and textural rock facades. Huge windows offer a tantalizing hint of what lies inside.

The interior does not disappoint. There’s so much cool stuff to look at, you can’t take it in all at once. The concrete, wood and glass from the outside is carried through to the interior. The effect is at once strong and modern, yet warm and airy. This effect is enhanced by the white furnishings and a “floating” brick and metal fireplace in the living space on the upper floor. Oh yeah, and did you happen to notice three trees extending from the floor through the concrete ceiling?

In case you were curious about the water-tightness of such a design, you can catch a glimpse of a large rubber gasket through the skylight. It plugs up the opening in the concrete ceiling to keep the interior space clean while also keeping the tree steady through the opening.

Once you’ve absorbed the uniqueness of the space itself, then you start to notice more of the objects that further personalize this home. In the background, on the far side of the living room a Fortuny-style lamp is on hand to cast a bright wash of light up the textured concrete wall. On the dining room table, a Blow Up Centerpiece by Alessi cradles some green apples, providing a bright pop of color against the dark wood. In the kitchen, an otherwise clean working surface is accessorized by a Fruit Loop Bowl by Black and Blum and a classic Michael Graves Kettle with Bird Whistle, also by Alessi.

You’re likely exhausted after absorbing all this contemporary, natural splendor. Thank goodness that, heading downstairs, you’ll find a La Chaise by Charles and Ray Eames at the base of that third tree (the one right around the corner from the kitchen). ItĀ  gives you a fittingly modern place to take a rest, nestled among some soft greenery.


Once you’re rested up, and if you want to see more, be sure to take a look at the whole project at the HomeDSGN blog.

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