Built for an academic and his family, this project aims to accommodate the client’s love of books, gardening and entertaining in a scheme based on a tree. The two lower storeys are set back into a slope, creating space for a secret garden. The higher floors cantilever out over this base, spreading like branches to accommodate apartments for use by the owner’s children when they grow. Beneath the cantilever on the garden side a double-height glass atrium houses the owner’s books with views into the garden. The walls are of lightweight sand-lime bricks dressed in local sandstone, and wind-catching skylights bring in light and air.