Architect: Ernie Ruskey
Firm: Tektonika Studio Architects
Tucked neatly into the topography of its thickly wooded site in the Green Mountains of Vermont, the aptly named Tree House pairs open, inviting living spaces with large expanses of glass to create a strong connection to the surrounding landscape.
“The client wished for as much integration into the site that we could design for them,” said Ernie Ruskey, founder and principal of Tektonika Studio Architects. “We achieved that by inserting the footprint of the house into the existing landscape.”
This harmonious integration of dwelling and nature helped to inspire the design of the home’s most distinguishing feature: its subtle wedge shape, which gradually opens the interior to the outdoors.
“As you enter into the great room, there’s an expanding perspective that’s nicely complemented by the Marvin windows,” Ruskey explained. “And as you move toward the corner, the windows get larger and larger – the largest awning window measures 64 inches wide and 72 inches tall – expanding the view into the woods beyond. The large Marvin windows really accentuate this.”
In order to create the expanding perspective while minimizing heat loss, it was necessary to use large expanses of Marvin Tripane glass, which delivers unmatched thermal performance. A mix of operable window styles – Ultimate Casement and Ultimate Awning - was used to allow for a variety of ways to ventilate the space. For example, if it’s raining, one can open an awning window without worrying about water intrusion.
Additionally, Ruskey used 8-foot Clad Ultimate Inswing French Doors to create the feeling that the ceiling is actually much higher than it is, enhancing the sense of openness and spaciousness that extends from the interior to exterior.
With so many uniquely sized windows, the collaboration with Marvin was indispensable in seeing this project through from design to install.
“From the moment we’re getting our drawings up to quarter scale - when you can really start to compose windows - we will feed our Marvin reps information to get their feedback regarding the size of the window, mulling or muntin configuration. They’re good about working through whatever structural or configuration parameters there might be, all the way through to product delivery. That’s a big part of why we like to work with Marvin.”