Nestled in a quiet alley amidst a bustling downtown area, NCDA's Nelson Chow has created a residential complex akin to a treehouse in the woods.

Key features

Nelson Chow’s ‘Curiosity with Nature’ concept unfolds as a series of spaces ranging from communal lounges to private living quarters, each one inspired by the project’s hillside setting. It starts with a Nordic-style glass treehouse welcoming residents at the main entrance adjacent to an eight-m-high Autumn Maple and a vertical garden on the building’s facade breathing life into the 24-storey volume. 

The entire complex is infused with a sense of tranquility thanks to lush planting, which achieves the architect’s aim of creating a forest-like experience. Inside, gardens on every floor are planted with native greenery, ushering inhabitants upwards towards a roof garden with panoramic views of the city. Here, residents can make the most of an ‘urban farm box’ filled with herbs and other edible plants as part of a farm-to-table experience. Colour also plays a significant role in continuing the nature theme. Chow employs a palette of calming and restorative tones, including olive green, light grey and matte brass materials curated to present an exclusive forest atmosphere for the residents. 

Not limited to visual references, Chow adds to the biophilic setting with flexible configurations. Inside one communal area, dubbed The Treehouse Club, movable bi-folding doors and partitions respond seamlessly to residents’ requirements. The overall effect is one of fluidity and adventure, emphasised by a series of playful elements that help to create a spirited atmosphere: a subtle standout is the decorative ladder inside the lift to evoke the feeling of climbing as residents ascend to their cabin-style home.

Frame’s take

Here, the interiors are indicative of Chow’s ability to reinvent residential space as a sensual and serene experience. The architect boasts a portfolio of projects, including his own treehouse-inspired home, which use natural materials to immerse visitors into a sense of soothing opulence. The same can be said for Timber House, whose sumptuous yet intimate sanctuary creates a cabin-in-the-city retreat satisfying a fundamental human need to connect with nature.