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Discover Australian, sustainable design & building in action

Sloping block: A swim in the trees

This luxury home in Brisbane’s south has been built on a steeply sloped block, and features a swimming pool perched 10 metres off the ground.


With a swimming pool perched 10 metres above ground and living areas that wrap its striking boldness, this treetop abode in Brisbane’s south has brought a new dimension to hillside building - effortlessly fusing earth, water and sky.

sloping block

The home, titled Toowoong-Treetops, sits unerringly atop a 520sqm steeply sloped block. When initiated, the project was fated to provide not only a vast panorama of Tamborine Mountain for the owner, but a giant challenge for the builder.

“This project was by far our most challenging,” says Toowoong’s builder Duayne Pearce. “The block is extremely steep; we were flat out even walking up and down the property.”

“I knew it would be a challenge from the start – I couldn’t believe someone wanted to build such a house,” he adds. “There were six to eight months of planning and pricing before any contracts were even signed.”

You can view our podcast with Duayne Pearce here:

Sloping construction

Designed by Artas Architects and Cunningham Designs, the hillside building’s foundation and support structure is solid concrete, made of re-enforced walls and columns, as well as core-filled block work.

sloping block

Moving up to the house proper it is timber framing – along with the innovative use of glass and James Hardie EasyLap™ panel – which gives this hilltop dwelling its unusual finish.

Pearce says the owner wanted a smooth finish, and with the EasyLap panel he could ensure the rendered concrete walls of the lower house seamlessly blended with the timber-framed upper levels.

“The Easylap panel was good because it came in large sheets that were easy to work with,“ he says. “Since we used it on the [Toowoong] job we have actually used quite a bit more.”

Staying sustainable

“This house is very environmentally friendly,” Pearce says. “We did as much as we could to keep it as sustainable as possible.”

The four-bedroom home features a large atrium throughout the middle of the structure, which has levers on both sides allowing hot air to escape.

Moreover, the entire house (including the floor) is insulated, which helps keep its temperature moderate. Toowoong-Treetops is also equipped with solar water heating technology.

Elevated luxury

A continuum of fluid, vastly proportioned minimalist spaces and seamless connections to broad decks help to bring the magnificent Toowoong views inside.

sloping block

Once invited in, the first impression is breathtaking, with polished hardwood floors combining with floor-to-ceiling glass, stone benches and endless views across the wet-edge pool.

To one side of the master-chef kitchen is the living area while on the other lies the dining area that opens to an expansive deck with 100km views over Brisbane city to the NSW border ranges.

Meanwhile, the master bedroom is the crowning glory of the entire hillside building. It features a secure private hallway, huge bedroom with cedar ceiling, walk-in wardrobe and a fully marbled en-suite with freestanding stone bath.

“The difficult site and unusual house design made this project one we loved to complete,” Pearce adds. “We were proud to be able to produce such an amazing and complex home on time and within budget.”

Project: Toowoong-Treetops
Architect: Artas Architects and Cunningham Designs
Builder: D Pearce Constructions
Featured material: James Hardie EasyLap™ panel

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