It looks like a blimp that crash-landed in the forest, a luxury yacht or strange submarine washed ashore – that was modified, renovated and transformed into a habitable year-round home in the trees. Using engineering techniques employed in building strong rigid curves into the framework of wood boats and aircraft hulls, this unique tree house is at once cutting-edge and curiously eccentric.
In some ways, this building designed by Bellemo & Cat stands out strongly from its surroundings – critics must decided whether this move preserves or shatters the integrity of the green hillside landscape. From a sustainability standpoint, however, raising the whole house on stilts is an eco-friendly move that preserves the existing trees and other plant life growing natural on the site.
The curved form of the exterior carries through to the interior, informing and shaping the strange rooms and spaces – including the ovoid bedroom at one of the tips of the blimp-like structure. As much a work of sculpture as architecture, this incredible object-and-building is not just amazing to look at – it also has incredible views of the valley below.
More from the designers
“This cocoon for weekend living is situated in a bushy coastal hamlet on the Great Ocean Road. The steepness of the site, the dramatic views and the sometimes harsh climate resulted in an object house that whilst protecting from the elements, opened one side to the landscape. In principle this is a matchbox inside an egg, a rectangle within an oval. Inside, the spaces dovetail together with the economic precision of a small boat or caravan. The light weight monocoque structure is a hybrid of techniques appropriated from boat building and aircraft engineering. The path to building this home was one of unleashing the pragmatic inside the poetic.”
About the designers
“Bellemo & Cat is a Melbourne-based architect/artist partnership. The multi-disciplinary team was established in 1998 by Michael Bellemo and Cat Macleod. Based in Northcote, in inner urban Melbourne, the work of the firm varies widely in both scale – from domestic to the public – and location – from the urban to the rural.”