DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE
THE APPLE TREE
ACDF Architecture, a firm internationally recognized for
designing a new generation of meaningful and impactful buildings, unveils the Apple Tree House.
Architect: ACDF Architecture
Architectural Project Team: Maxime-Alexis Frappier, Martin Champagne,
General Contractor: Marion Gauthier
Structural Engineer: Poincaré – Paul-Henry Boutros
Interior design: ACDF Architecture
Landscape Architect: ACDF Architecture
Photographer: Adrien Williams
Built on a 250,000 sq. ft. forested plot, the urban family wanted a modern home to enhance their communion with nature, both internally and externally, while serving as a peaceful retreat enabling family members to reconnect with each other and to enjoy solitary moments.
During the first explorations of the concept, the architects sought a sensitive approach to drawing nature inside the house. At the same time, the owner embraced vivid childhood memories of growing up in an orchard environment. The apple tree was symbolic of his earliest encounters with nature as a child and of the continuity of that connection years later while picking apples with his children, part of an enduring tradition of quality time spent with the family in nature’s embrace. The apple tree was instantly incorporated into their collective vision, becoming the project’s core.
“The nostalgia of the orchard setting provoked a sincere and pure emotion, and we immediately knew that we had to incorporate an apple tree at the heart of the project in order to sow the seeds of the family’s future history,” explains Maxime-Alexis Frappier, partner and co-founder of ACDF. “It became a central pillar for connecting the architecture, the house, and the family.”
The integration of the apple tree enabled the host family to enjoy a much-desired connection with nature, played out through intimate relationships with various moods of the day, changing seasons, and weather conditions associated with each season. The children learned, and the parents relearned, how to care for the apple tree; watching it grow, trim its branches, pre-emptively treating it for threatening diseases, and admiring its blossoms and bearing of fruit. That relationship ensures that the house’s surrounding nature becomes much more than just a spectacle of passive beauty. It has become a fixture of the family’s everyday lives, and it contributes to the awareness of nature’s fragility and vital role on this planet. It is a living example of how humans can, and must, (re)learn the fundamentals of cohabitation with nature.