Tree House

There are two characteristics of site the Tree House reveals: the gradual slope along its length and a forested ravine with a seasonal stream at the rear of the lot.

The house turns a quiet face to the street, its horizontal volumes juxtaposed against the slope act as a foil or like a carpenter’s level, explaining the fall of the hill. The entry is punctuated by a translucent stair volume that at once provides balanced daylight to the interior while giving privacy to those using the stairs. Upon entry you are immediately connected to the wooded ravine at the south of the house. Walls of glass in the dining and living areas allow an uninterrupted view. A deliberately slow stair leads from an outdoor dining room to the ground creating a conscious experience of descending from the adjoining tree canopy.


The structure is conceived as a textural wood volume hovering on a taut, white stucco base. The base hosts the common functions of the home: living, dining, gathering and preparing food. It serves as the foundation for the private spaces above: office, outdoor yoga room and bedrooms. Additionally, a main-floor master suite is separated from the common living space by a private gallery. The garden level is hidden from the street but opens directly to the stream and ravine at the rear of the house. The house is designed to a LEED gold equivalent; it is a super-insulated envelope with very limited thermal bridging. Heat is in-floor radiant and cooling is supplied by heat pumps. A ten-kilowatt photovoltaic array supplies electricity and sells excess back to the utility company. Green roofs filter rainwater, provide additional insulation, mediate the urban heat sink and protect the roof membranes, extending their lifespan.

Arch11 — Boulder
3100 Carbon Place #100
Boulder, CO 80301
(303) 546-6868

Arch11 — Denver
1200 Bannock Street
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 546-6868