Buckhead Tree House: A City Oasis

See the article in REMODEL Atlanta here (PDF).

By Sylvia Small

Remodel-Atlanta-2009-012-CoverDesigned by architect Henri Jova, Diane and Gary Bush’s modern four bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom
home sets on a private road in a lovely Atlanta neighborhood. Initially attracted to the house by the amazing view of the Chattahoochee River, the couple set about reclaiming the landscaping one section at a time after they purchased their home in 2004. Once that was accomplished, they recruited Atlanta-based MOSAIC Group Architects and Remodelers to fill in a space in the architecture that seemed open.

Living in Buckhead, this family prized their unique, woodsy setting along the Chattahoochee River. With so many wonderful views, they wanted to create an outdoor living room that was screened in from annoying mosquitoes but took advantage of the sweeping river views and tree-top setting.

The new porch needed to blend with the home on all levels. Creating a design that blended with the structure’s contemporary architecture was key to maintaining the home’s integrity.

“What makes this project special is how the porch complements the house proportionally and from a materials perspective,” says Rick Goldstein, coowner of MOSAIC Group. “The home didn’t take advantage of the lot before. The new porch overlooks the L-shape section of the lot that looks out toward the river.”

REFERRAL BUSINESS
The home owners interviewed four companies as part of the design/build process. MOSAIC’s Outdoor Living Division was referred to the Bushes by a local landscaping company that had previously done work for the couple.

“Rick saw the same thing I did,” says Gary. “We wanted something that was set aside from the house that not only fit into the architecture but also fit in
with the ‘tree house, back-to-nature’ look. We liked the first [design] so much, we didn’t look at any other.”

Adds Goldstein, “I understood what Gary was looking for and could interpret it for him. The design process flowed together really easy for me. Sometimes
you’re faced with something difficult, and you wrestle with it and never get it, or sometimes inspiration just happens. This is one of the times I saw it and it came together. Everybody loved it.”

KEEPING THE NATURAL VIEW
Remodel-Atlanta-2009-012-PorchThe goal was to add a new screened-in porch to the back of the existing home. An important consideration was to incorporate the new porch into a similar style of the home and position it to take advantage of the tree-filled area and river views.

The enclosed area is built off the main living level of the house. With the Chattahoochee River just steps away, the magnificent views needed to be captured. By positioning the new addition on the back side of the garage, an unused and dead space, the sweeping river views are framed by the new structure.

The grade of the back side of the property was very steep and needed to be addressed. “It was difficult to access the area for transporting materials and constructing the porch because it was fairly high off the ground,” Goldstein explains.

The existing home’s roof lines posed the most difficult challenge. Due to the contemporary style and the multiple angles and levels, finding the right solution was key to creating a seamless and integrated screened porch.

The final screened porch is approximately 20 square feet and features a Tigerwood (Brazilian hardwood) floor. The tongue and groove pine ceiling has a natural finish on it. The project also incorporated an enlarged open deck area, transitional staircases and a new cable railing system.

The nearly invisible cable railing system lets the view be the star. “We had a really interesting Keuka railing custom fabricated for this project,” adds Goldstein. It’s a metal railing with stainless steel rails, and the custom balusters are designed to help make the railings disappear, allowing a transparent view from the house, deck and porch.

The transitional staircases, which can often look bulky, are virtually hidden in a nook behind the new structure, making them nearly invisible and keeping
the focus on the beautiful surroundings.

The home is literally surrounded by woods and natural fauna, which the home owners loved and wanted to preserve. Two very important Bald Cypress trees were growing extremely close to the existing deck; the MOSAIC Group built the new extended deck right up to their trunks so that Gary and Diane didn’t have to lose this rare species in Atlanta.

OUTDOOR LIVING ROOM
Remodel-Atlanta-2009-012-DeckThe finished project is a delightful outdoor living room for the family. The amazing river views are now captured and framed by a unique structure custom designed to match the existing home. By utilizing a dead zone behind the garage, some of the best views of the river and trees are now realized.

The new space includes seating and dining areas that make you feel like you are in a tree house. The adjacent deck was extended and widened to create an area for a grill and a stainless steel cooler. It also affords a more comfortable traffic pattern when entertaining. The final screened porch was uniquely designed to blend the contemporary architecture of the home and varying roof lines with the elegant natural surroundings. The extended decking created a better flow for entertaining, and the nearly invisible cable railing system lets the view shine.

“The Bushes were great clients and receptive to our ideas,” says Goldstein. “We think the space turned out beautifully.”

The final screened porch was uniquely designed to blend the contemporary architecture of the home and varying roof lines with the elegant natural surroundings. The extended decking created a better flow for entertaining, but the best part of all was the client’s reaction to the completed project. “It’s like it was always meant to be like this,” says Gary. “It wasn’t complete before, but now it’s perfect.”

Source for this article:

MOSAIC Group Outdoor Living Division
Contact: Rick Goldstein
2358 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30341
770-670-6022

Sylvia Small Communications & Marketing LLC
Contact: Sylvia Small
404-841-8168
Mobile: 404.245.8416

Photos: John Umberger