Ascending The Oak Tree Home

Some fantastic tree house designs have swung by SATORI & SCOUT's attention, but this Ghent (Belgium) home would be quite the impressive place to live. Certainly hitting all the aspirational high notes in terms of truth to materiality, form follows function and high wellbeing, this home literally features an oak tree trunk as one of it's main structural supports, offering strength as much as it does beautification.

Sadly not a real-life tree (though, that may prove problematic over time in terms of growth and adjustments), but this near-living tree trunk is certainly a unique site to behold inside a house. With a pentagonal plan designed by architects Atelier Vens Vanbelle, the tree marks the centre of the home. Owned by a man who plays both music and paints paintings, each of the home's creative and functional spaces have been created with such professions and hobbies in mind. Consisting of two floors and an attic, the home is very much inward looking towards the central tree, but also complemented by a small courtyard that is separated from the street by a garden wall. Via the careful implementation of the 12 metre tall oak tree, a series of mezzanine floors are facilitated around the trunk in a spiral fashion - no two platforms are on the same floor plane (very much like a spiral staircase, except the floors are the steps).

As the architects explain, "...The inner structure of the house was in a poor condition and the rooms were too small, so it was decided to keep only the facade and build a completely new structure in the house." Stripping the former building of all it's internal assets to create a blank canvas it was decided that a central pillar - or in this case, tree - would be best to serve in demarking the space into various segments, much more architecturally ambitious than simply making the home feature conventional rooms and staircases.

Affordable and logical, the correct atmosphere of the home is instantly achieved via this bold inclusion. With floors strategically positioned to existing windows, vistas were created within the house as well as offering outward views. Via the home's internal ascension, each room becomes increasingly more intimate with the bedroom located in the attic. In replacing its roof in the process, a small viewing platform concludes the home; it's white-painted-brick materiality does everything to preserve it's former past whilst enabling an open space to facilitate such ambition. With the tree visible on every platform, the contrast in colours of white, oak and light wood is really quite appealing. Admittedly more haphazard than the traditionally minimalist home, this home achieves simplicity in other ways that many homes cannot. Discover more about the architects online at:

Photography credit : Tim Van de Velde
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