Grand Award: Tree House Tower

This winning remodel enlarges the existing home by adding a four-story tower and takes every opportunity to make the most of the home's stunning forest setting.

The owners of this house loved the tree-filled property, but the original cabin-like house didnt reflect their style. For the renovation, they turned to KUBE architecture, a Washington, D.C., firm known for its modern aesthetic. The homeowners original plan was for a small master bedroom addition. However, the project evolved to a larger tower addition with a master suite and a library/living area. A deck off the tower connects the addition to the original house.

Because the site is steep, architect Janet Bloomberg says she could not add space to the back of the house. The tower provides additional square footage without disturbing any trees.

The tower is a four-story structure with a two-story library on top and a master suite below. The lower level of the library has access to the wrap-around deck.

A first draft of the design called for stairs in a bump-out on the tower. But budget constraints dictated that the stairs remain inside the tower. The team at KUBE used a two-sided bookcase to separate the stairs.

The tower has commercial windows in different shapes and sizes, which provide a connection to the outdoors and provide the owners with differing views of the landscape as they walk up and down.

The view through this master bedroom window resembles a painting of a forest, architect Janet Bloomberg says.

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