Paarman Treehouse by Malan Vorster

Malan Vorster has designed a uniquely vertical private residence in the Constantia suburb of South Africa’s Cape Town which was inspired by treehouses. The structure consists of four cylindrical towers sparsely clad with battens of Western Red Cedar and was intended to match the height of the surrounding trees in order to offer views over the surrounding forest.

Note that this isn’t a true treehouse in the sense that it isn’t built onto an existing natural tree, due to the obvious structural implications of affixing project of this size to a living, growing anchor point. However it was inspired by the sense of fun and creativity associated with conventional treehouses, being built on stilts with a small Corten steel ramp providing access to the raised dwelling.

Each of the four cylindrical volumes which together make up Malan Vorster’s Paarman Treehouse were built around sets of four structural steel columns which in effect serve as tree trunks. These support larger rings of steel and the timber of the Paarman Treehouse is in turn connected to these with intricate, hand-turned brass fixtures.

The residence bears a relatively simple material palette of glass, Western Red Cedar wood and Corten steel which bears a slightly rusted finish. All surfaces were intentionally left untreated so that the exterior of the residence would weather over time and develop a more natural patina.

Inside, a mezzanine level with a clear glass balustrade serves as the master bedroom of the Paarman Treehouse, making the most of the views from the top of the dwelling. As a result of the cylindrical structure, many of the rooms have circular or even semi-circular floorplans, as seen in the bathroom below.

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