It takes a long time for a tree to grow and in the blink of an eye it can be cut down to make room for a new house – unless the architects take the existing trees into account when designing a new home and that is exactly what more and more architects are doing. Homes built around trees are popping up more and more and the following 10 examples are some of the more creative ways that the designers have incorporated them into house designs.
The Batin House is located in Pinamar, Buenos Aires on a lot surrounded by a pine forest, with many of the pines spilling forth onto the lot itself. Estudio Galera Arquitectura not only took the trees into account when designing the home and even gave this one it’s own porthole to soar through.
The architects not only took the trees into account in the design, but also the terrain, lifting the house up so as not to alter the lay of the land. Source
NDE Renda also created a portal for a tree within the garage roof of Casa del Bosque in Fernando de la Mora, Paraguay. This portal is square and accommodates two limbs of the tree bursting forth.
The tree is centrally located in the garage and acts like a natural division between the two parking stalls. Source
Casa Chinkara showcases a tree underneath an open sky light right inside the home. Designed by Soliscolomer Architecture and located in Guatemala, this portion of the home bridges over the driveway below, so while this tree was not pre-existing, the home was still designed around it.
This bridged part of Casa Chinkara is the living room and with the walls of glass and the tree sprouting from the floor, the connection to the surrounding landscape is complete. Source
Another home with trees growing in the living room is the Hayes residence by Travis Price Architects. These trees where definitely pre-existing and are encased in glass so that they are not affected by the indoor climate.
Additional trees within the Hayes residence also grow through the roofline of the covered terrace. Source
With trees surrounding the home and growing through it, the home does not feel separate from the surrounding forest. Source
The site of The Tree House, located in Austin, Texas, had an oak tree almost dead center of where the house was to go so Matt Fajkus Architecture simply created a U-shaped design and kept the tree as an integral part of the overall plan.
All three sides of the home that face the oak tree are covered in windows, allowing the tree to be front and center both inside and outside. Source
The back of the GREEN ZERO Project in Revine, Lake, Italy has a deep indent so that a pre-existing birch tree could continue to grow. By leaving the tree and building around it, Daniele Menichini Architecture was able to design the home’s bathroom with a private, albeit small, natural landscape. Source
Innie and Outie by William O-Brien Jr. Architects is a group of homes in Quingpu, Shanghai, China. Each home revolves around a central courtyard that features a large clump of bamboo.
The bamboo grows through voids of the multi story dwellings, offering privacy to the rooms that overlook it. Source
It’s quite beautiful how the sunlight dances of the feathery bamboo leaves. Source
2 Oaks House near Mountain Vitosha, Bulgaria was designed by Ostrev Baylov Ignatov Architects to use the pre-existing oaks for the thermal balance of shade in the summer and sunlit heat in the winter.
The trunk of the oak growing through the deck adds a natural sculptural element to the homes minimalist design. Source
Casa Jacarandas in Guadalajara, Mexico was designed by Hernances Silva Arquitectos to be an extension of the outdoors by using walls of glass that stack completely out of the way and showcasing naturally finished millwork in the home’s interior and the tree positioned on the deck next to the master bedroom really keeps the outdoors up close and personal.
The tree is even surrounded by a water feature and kept company by Buddha. Source
Casa 7A by Arquitectura en Estudio has a split personality. It can be completely opened up to the elements or closed up tight, either way the tree is always front and center as it grows from its very own deck. Source
This is perhaps one of the most amazing examples of a tree inside a house – this residence in Brazil, built by architect Alessandro Sartore has a 3 meters in diameter opening in the concrete slab to incorporate a tree called Bethany by the owner, because of its majestic appearance. And it’s the focal point of the entire living area. Casa Vogue.
A similar opening is in the concrete ceiling. Source.
Located in Guatemala City, Guatemala, the Corallo House was designed by PAZ Arquitectura to integrate the surroundings. This nature-inspired forest house has trees growing inside, and its interiors designed and built around them. Source.
Archi-Union Architects, a Shanghai-based architectural design firm has designed The Tea House where a small triangular balcony extends around the existing tree.
If your home doesn’t have the ability to feature a living tree either outside or inside, you can always add one or two beautiful tree inspired furniture designs to your home for a little bit of woodland aesthetic.