When you’re inspired by nature, signiﬁcant trees are important to you. For many clients, the presence of trees on a building site is a major draw card. Trees create an instant sense of being close to nature and take a long time to mature, so if there are existing trees on a site, there’s value in retaining them. Trees can also represent some anxiety in a site purchase decision because town planning approval processes can create uncertainty around which trees must be retained and how this might affect the design of a home built on that site.
We always try at the outset to retain site trees in our designs. We start with a design that takes it as a feature in the landscape. Often there are other challenges to take into account as well: a site with a signiﬁcant slope or a shape of site that may be challenging. It’s important to design in a way that allows you to have both the building and tree structurally sound, reducing the risk of damage to either.
The connection of a home to its landscape is essential. If you have a signiﬁcant tree, we believe that it is essential to bring it inside the home by having views to it, even have a courtyard or decking around it so that it becomes part of an outdoor room. The tree brings nature into the home by changing through different seasons and weather conditions, creating shelter for bird life, creating different shade and light patterns.
A signiﬁcant tree can also make a huge contribution to the privacy of a home, sheltering it from the street or neighbours and providing shade from the summer sun. We treasure the opportunities to make the most of the natural assets of a site. Designing and building around a signiﬁcant tree is a challenge that inspires us.