This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Different Kind Of 'Tree House'

Architecture

According to the Victorian era language of flowers, magnolias symbolise dignity and nobility. In China, magnolias are connected with feminine energy and ‘gentleness’. Today’s home, designed by Green Sheep Collective, finds a new architectural language for the magnolia – one of sustainability and beauty.

We chat to director Shae Parker McCashen about how the backyard magnolia tree inspired the design of this spectacular house in Fairfield, Victoria, and informed the passive solar design principles of the home.

9th November, 2018

Welcome to indoor/outdoor living in the Magnolia Soul house. Photo – Emma Cross.

The home has a small footprint, but a big impact. Photo – Emma Cross.

An elevated extension brings light and space to the property. Photo – Emma Cross.

Designed for all seasons. Photo – Emma Cross.

Dappled light floods the living room. Photo – Emma Cross.

The new design encourages plenty of outdoor relax time. Photo – Emma Cross.

Peek through the Magnolia Soul home. Photo – Emma Cross.

A sleek and cool bathroom in an environmentally conscious home. Photo – Emma Cross.

Lucy Feagins
Friday 9th November 2018

The design for the Magnolia Soul house came from ‘the stunning magnolia x soulangeana tree located in the client’s backyard’ explains Shae Parker McCasher, director of Green Sheep Collective. Shae describes how the house was designed to showcase the tree’s changing foliage throughout the seasons, while also embodying passive solar design principles. As the tree cyclically blooms and rejuvenates, the house echoes these changes through clever window positioning, double glazing, thermal mass and insulation.  The beauty of being green!

The angled ceiling and high window in the apex of the roofline offer a framed view of the tree through the seasons, as well as allowing soft dappled light into the centre of the home. The residents can nestle into the window seat to relax, read, ‘admire the flowering magnolia or sit at the edge of the garden’ Shae enthuses. The living room space is sunken, increasing the thermal mass of the home, in addition to creating what Shae describes as a ‘playful step, that doubles as informal seating between the deck and dining area.’

The brief for this home was to generate a ‘warm, robust and pet-friendly extension, which celebrates the mature magnolia tree and maximises the garden area’ Shae describes. This informed the strategy for designing efficient and highly functional internal spaces, with a small building footprint and emphasis on the garden.

The Magnolia Soul property places the environment at the forefront of the design, both through the sustainable design ethos, and the focus on the tree as the heart of the home. Shae explains that the design is intended to be ‘unique, robust and exciting, a space that people want to live in, maintain and cherish for years to come.’ The perfect space for this family and their much-loved magnolia tree to grow together, over time.

This Week

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Fred’s Head Chef, Danielle Alvarez

Follow the daily routine of Danielle Alvarez, head chef of the renowned Paddington restaurant, Fred's!

News

Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Launches Online!

Buy ethically traded art at the country’s largest Aboriginal art fair in its (now virtual) marketplace.

Food

Learn From Free To Feed's Favourite Cooking Instructors, In The Comfort Of Your Own Home!

Learn how to cook a delicious Persian feast at home with All Together Now, a new community cooking initiative from the beloved Melbourne-bas...

On The Market

A Rare Mid-Century Gem Near Heide Is For Sale!

This Bauhaus-influenced family home in Eaglemont was built in 1966 - and boasts some serious mid-century credentials!
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Sorrento Beach House Devoted To Its Modernist Past

Cera Stribley architects bring this 1960s delight into the 21st century, with careful restraint.
Sasha Gattermayr

TDF Collect

TDF Collect Presents 'Portalis' By Hannah Nowlan

A series of 15 richly textured paintings exploring retreat, regeneration and the rapidly changing world around us from the talented Victoria...

News

Win A Night At This Tiny Secluded Cabin!

This cosy holiday collaboration between In Bed and Unyoked is making us feel all the feels.

Homes

The Colourful Family Home Of Fenton & Fenton Owner, Lucy Fenton!

The Malvern home of Lucy Fenton, owner of Fenton & Fenton, is a vibrant, eclectic and thoroughly sunshine-y space!

News

Big-Time Designer Brands On Sale At Space Furniture!

Upgrade your living space with discounted B&B Italia, Moooi, Kartell + more!
Sponsored
02.36

Kitchens

Kennedy Nolan Design The Quintessential Modern Australian Kitchen, With Laminex

The award-winning Australian architecture practice collaborate with Laminex to create two clever contemporary kitchens.

Sustainable Homes

An Ultra Energy-Efficient Makeover Of A Victorian Country Home

In this country Victoria project, MRTN Architects prove even the coldest period houses can be updated to achieve incredible sustainability s...

Art

Sally Anderson's New Works Explore 'Home' As Landscape, In A Pandemic Age

The NSW-based artist's new exhibition explores the poetry of everyday spaces.
Sasha Gattermayr

Mid-Century Modern

This Modernist House Has The Best Lounge We’ve EVER Seen, And It’s On The Market

Alongside ocean views, this 1975 modernist homestead contains a feature pond and a pink Italian marble bathroom!
Sasha Gattermayr

TDF Design Awards

These Emerging Designers Are The Next Big Things!

Introducing the 8 showstopping finalists in the Emerging Designer category of The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020!
Lucy Feagins

News

Watch The National Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Art Awards Live!

Brooke Boney hosts the prestigious art awards ceremony, which will be broadcast online for the first time ever!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Pavilion in the Trees

A spectacular, seamless addition to an existing mid-century house in Camberwell, by Melbourne firm AM Architecture.

Architecture

A Clever Home That ‘Cheats’ Extra Space

Creating space where there is none… an almost invisible extension to a tiny Victorian terrace, by Whiting Architects.
Elle Murrell

Architecture

The Anti-McMansion House

David Boyle Architect reacts against the generic with this poetic family home in Sydney.

This Week

02.36

Kitchens

Kennedy Nolan Design The Quintessential Modern Australian Kitchen, With Laminex

The award-winning Australian architecture practice collaborate with Laminex to create two clever contemporary kitchens.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Fred’s Head Chef, Danielle Alvarez

Follow the daily routine of Danielle Alvarez, head chef of the renowned Paddington restaurant, Fred's!

Art

Sally Anderson's New Works Explore 'Home' As Landscape, In A Pandemic Age

The NSW-based artist's new exhibition explores the poetry of everyday spaces.
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Win A Night At This Tiny Secluded Cabin!

This cosy holiday collaboration between In Bed and Unyoked is making us feel all the feels.

TDF Collect

TDF Collect Presents 'Portalis' By Hannah Nowlan

A series of 15 richly textured paintings exploring retreat, regeneration and the rapidly changing world around us from the talented Victoria...

On The Market

A Rare Mid-Century Gem Near Heide Is For Sale!

This Bauhaus-influenced family home in Eaglemont was built in 1966 - and boasts some serious mid-century credentials!
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Big-Time Designer Brands On Sale At Space Furniture!

Upgrade your living space with discounted B&B Italia, Moooi, Kartell + more!
Sponsored

Food

Learn From Free To Feed's Favourite Cooking Instructors, In The Comfort Of Your Own Home!

Learn how to cook a delicious Persian feast at home with All Together Now, a new community cooking initiative from the beloved Melbourne-bas...

Homes

The Colourful Family Home Of Fenton & Fenton Owner, Lucy Fenton!

The Malvern home of Lucy Fenton, owner of Fenton & Fenton, is a vibrant, eclectic and thoroughly sunshine-y space!

News

Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Launches Online!

Buy ethically traded art at the country’s largest Aboriginal art fair in its (now virtual) marketplace.

TDF Design Awards

These Emerging Designers Are The Next Big Things!

Introducing the 8 showstopping finalists in the Emerging Designer category of The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020!
Lucy Feagins

Sustainable Homes

An Ultra Energy-Efficient Makeover Of A Victorian Country Home

In this country Victoria project, MRTN Architects prove even the coldest period houses can be updated to achieve incredible sustainability s...

News

Watch The National Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Art Awards Live!

Brooke Boney hosts the prestigious art awards ceremony, which will be broadcast online for the first time ever!

Mid-Century Modern

This Modernist House Has The Best Lounge We’ve EVER Seen, And It’s On The Market

Alongside ocean views, this 1975 modernist homestead contains a feature pond and a pink Italian marble bathroom!
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Sorrento Beach House Devoted To Its Modernist Past

Cera Stribley architects bring this 1960s delight into the 21st century, with careful restraint.
Sasha Gattermayr

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Pavilion in the Trees

A spectacular, seamless addition to an existing mid-century house in Camberwell, by Melbourne firm AM Architecture.

Architecture

A Clever Home That ‘Cheats’ Extra Space

Creating space where there is none… an almost invisible extension to a tiny Victorian terrace!
Elle Murrell

Architecture

The Anti-McMansion House

David Boyle Architect reacts against the generic with this poetic family home in Sydney.