two-tree house by golany architects, israel
two mature pine trees, integrated within the design of two-tree house
prefabrication was also a mean to preserve and protect the trees
timber cladding was designed to suit the diy capabilities of the owner. the cladding helps to keep the steel container temperature down.
the shutters close the house envelope into a timber box
looking towards the far view
the trees lend the house a special ambiance
the recycled shipping containers were prefabricated and brought to site ready to serve as a dwelling
floor plan
conceptual sketch

Two-Tree House // Golany Architects
Subjects the project addresses: recycling, shipping containers, sustainability, small residences, living in close relationship with nature, etc.

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Project description:
Two-Tree House was designed by Tel-Aviv based practice Golany Architects. The house is constructed among mature Jerusalem pine trees. Two of the trees have grown in the exact place where the house was to be located. The site was tight, and this led to the decision to integrate the two trees within the perimeter of the house. Preserving and rendering the mature trees as part of the house required attention and care. It was a daring decision that resulted in a house with a special ambiance.

The house, which now appears to have grown there, actually began as a recycled shipping container. It was constructed by applying prefabrication wherever possible, with all the interior finishes, insulation and structure completed off-site. It was brought to the site fully prepared to serve as a dwelling. The timber cladding, light roof over steel ceiling, stone work, and decks were designed in advance, and were complimented by works on site, after the house was inhabited.

Prefabrication was chosen to achieve the tight timeframe and budget, but also as part of the strategy to preserve the trees. With the local construction practice, which is typically heavy masonry construction, it would be impossible to save and preserve the trees.

The pines not only lend desirability to this unique house but also serve as a natural source of air-conditioning. Their shade also protects the timber from the harsh sun.

The pine trees were examined as part of the design process. Their continued growth is monitored and responded to, which results in a house that is a living structure.

Project details:
Architect: Golany Architects – Yaron Golany and Galit Golany
Location: nr Jerusalem, Israel
Interior Area: 45 sqm
Completion: 2009
Photographs: Yaron Golany