The Treehouse, an eco-friendly office building that brings the outdoors in, has debuted in Houston's Memorial City mixed-use development. Acumen Design developed the project’s concept and design, and Studio RED Architects served as the architect of record.
The two-story, 14,700-square-foot structure, which houses all of Memorial City's development activities, lives up to its name. The exterior is clad in Machiche wood harvested from South America, while floor-to-ceiling windows create a sense of openness and connection to the outdoors. The design team wrapped interior columns in custom-made woodwork that echoes trees and Incorporated tables made from tree trunks in the conference rooms. These rooms, called Nests, face a wraparound balcony that allows the outer facing windows to be raised similar to garage doors. Evoking an old-fashioned swinging bridge, a steel and wooden walkway connects the Treehouse to developer MetroNational’s headquarters building.
The project is pursuing LEED Platinum certification thanks to a series of sustainable features. The building features a geothermal cooling and heating system; daylight harvesting lights that automatically adjust in response to changing levels of natural light; and a green roof equipped with solar panels, rainwater collection, wind turbine, and a garden. Wood flooring was reclaimed from the Old Cotton Concentration Company warehouses in Galveston, Texas.
“The Treehouse is an inspiring environment that ignites imagination and serves as a creative collaboration center for us and our valued partners," Glenn Fuhrman, AIA, vice president of design and construction at MetroNational, said in a news release.