Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

 

Madeleine Blanchfield has designed Tree House in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs as a relaxing escape for her own growing family. The compact house stands as a fresh interpretation of spatial arrangement and layout, bringing greater flexibility to all spaces. Rooms flow into one another guided by a continuous stream of subdued, warm tones, ultimately creating an inviting oasis for family life.

Spaces unfold as a series of peaceful moments carefully curated to frame specific views. Occupants are invited to detach themselves from the noise and stress of the outside world as they become temporarily suspended in the lush canopy of the treetops located outside. The typical arrangement of a two-storey home has been avoided. Instead, communal living spaces usually seen on the bottom floor are inverted by being placed on the upper level. The result is a light-filled interior that feels as though it’s been suspended in the trees, reminiscent of a treehouse. All bedrooms open off the central stairwell on the lower level. Meticulous planning saw the removal of unnecessary spaces and corridors “allowing the focus to be on the volumes, finishes and spatial quality”, said Blanchfield.

A soft and restrained interior palette allows the junction of materials to become an important architectural element. The raw, texturally nuanced form of concrete steps intersect with warm linear timber flooring – a simple point of connection that, through careful planning and joinery, creates a beautiful moment. The welcoming and relaxing interiors see the pairing of soft leather and smooth timber with dusty terracotta-coloured floor tiles and hard marble surfaces. There is an ever-present tension between warm and cool that creates a delicate sense of balance and beauty.

 

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

 

A very special moment within the home has got to be the white dipped sculptural staircase. Its sinuous curves bring a new language to a scheme that is largely dominated by a rectilinear grid. The softly curving form is mirrored in a circular skylight that invites light in from above.

Shadows playfully dance down the void, bringing a sense of drama to an otherwise reserved scheme.

 

Related: Clovelly House by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects.

 

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

Madeleine Blanchfield, Tree House Bronte, Australian Architecture, Photo Anson Smart | Yellowtrace

 

The garden becomes an extension of the interiors – sliding glass doors, framed windows, and suspended balconies invite nature deep into the home. Greenery isn’t solely introduced with external views but is also interwoven inside with planter boxes, creepers, and cascading succulents, making every room feel as though it is immersed in greenery.

An architect’s dream is to distil their personal aesthetic into their own home, a dream that becomes reality for Madeleine Blanchfield in Tree House. The relatively modest-sized home feels expansive and generous as it wraps around its occupants, creating a safe and relaxing enclave for a growing family.

 

 


[Words by Caitlin Miller. Images courtesy of Madeleine Blanchfield Architects. Photography by Anson Smart.]

 

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