written by:
November 12, 2013
In the following slideshow, spy seven ways that architects and designers crafted their structures around trees.
cedar and larch Japanese house with garden

A house built in Japan features an internal courtyard, which the residents liken to a nest.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Back to Nature
1 / 7
A young, drought-tolerant Tristania conferta (also known as Australian brush box tree) grows up through the chill-out room under the deck at the rear of the house.

A young, drought-tolerant Tristania conferta (also known as Australian brush box tree) grows up through the chill-out room under the deck at the rear of a house in Los Angeles. Photo by Tom Fowlks.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Casa Study House #1
2 / 7
The 300-year-old beech tree supplies shade, movement, sound, and color to the site, and provides a towering natural counterpoint to the renovated home's long, low expanses of glass.

A 300-year-old beech tree supplies shade, movement, sound, and color to the site, and provides a towering natural counterpoint to a house architect Dieter Van Everbroeck renovated in Ghent. Photo by Hertha Hernaus.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in The Tree of Ghent
3 / 7
"We tried to achieve a space in which inside and outside co-exist together," architect Akira Mada says. "As we walk around the house, at times we feel the space is totally outside while at other moments it is an interior. It’s this co-existence that gives

In a tiny 653-square-foot house in Tokyo, a 20-foot-high garden room brings a sense of the outdoors in. A centrally positioned evergreen ash anchors the airy terrace, which is paved with complementary gray bricks.

Courtesy of 
(c) DAICI ANO / FWD
Originally appeared in Great Indoors
4 / 7
Modern Japanese-style house made of recycled elm wood

House 2.0 relies on recycled wood for support—notably, two enormous former mooring posts of basralocus wood and an entire elm tree, which supports the suspended living room. Photo by Hans Peter Follmi.

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
I See For You © Föllmi Photography
Originally appeared in Second to None
5 / 7
Finally, the stone pine tree reveals itself from the backyard looking over the Venice neighborhood. Its canopy stretches over the first floor of the home and can be glimpsed by the skylights placed strategically above the living area.

Despite the challenges a pine tree’s location presented, architect Daniel Monti never considered removing it from its native Venice, California, location. “The pine tree is such a special piece of the lot that you can’t help but fall in love with it,” says Monti. Instead, he worked around it to create a three-bedroom 2,700-square-foot home that echoes the beauty of that majestic age-old tree.

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
© fotoworks
Originally appeared in The Giving Tree
6 / 7
In stark contrast to Monti’s 1920s home now being rented out, the Walnut Residence never seems to run out of natural light. “After six months of living here, my wife and I noticed that we never turn on the light," remarked Monti. "I never have to turn on

A Cor-Ten rainscreen filters dappled light through the house—an effect similar to sun shining through tree leaves.

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
© fotoworks
Originally appeared in The Giving Tree
7 / 7
cedar and larch Japanese house with garden

A house built in Japan features an internal courtyard, which the residents liken to a nest.

Photo by Hiroshi Ueda.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

Italian Apline home with double-height walls on one facade.
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
February 05, 2016
A built-in sofa with Design Tex upholstery marks the boundary between the two-level addition and the bungalow. Leading up to the master bedroom, a perforated metal staircase, lit from above, casts a Sigmar Polke–like shadow grid on the concrete floor.
From a minimalist Walter Gropius design to a curving sculptural stair, these six stairways run the gamut.
February 05, 2016
distant structure lakeside prefab norway facade stones green roof
Dwell has traveled all over the world, from Tasmania to Indonesia, to report on modern houses.
February 05, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment master bedroom atrium
Get ready for a weekend of rest with these sleepy, little cocoons.
February 05, 2016
lamp show 99 cent plus gallery 0
At Brooklyn's 99¢ Plus gallery, 30 artists and designers re-imagine the lamp in an illuminating light show.
February 04, 2016
Hidden storage stairwell with raw brass hardware
Having ample space to stow items is a daily struggle—peep these modern homes for some ideas on maximizing your square footage.
February 04, 2016
modern fairhaven beach house blackbutt eucalyptus living room Patricia Urquiola sofa
Whether it's along a coast in Australia or the French Alps, wood provides a natural touch in these interiors.
February 04, 2016
Glass and steel sculpture in Printemps store of Paris.
In the Paris' venerable Printemps department store, two Toronto-based firms were tasked with enlivening a new atrium and creating a unique experience for visitors. YabuPushelberg, partnering with UUfie, designed this stunning steel "sail" embedded with vibrant dichroic glass.
February 04, 2016
Monochromatic Master Bedroom in Copenhagen Townhouse
Whether it's to maximize limited light or create a soothing interior, these five projects go white in a big way.
February 04, 2016
EQ3 Assembly quilt by Kenneth LaVallee
The new Assembly collection from EQ3 celebrates up-and-coming figures in Canadian design. Discover this newly appointed class, which debuted at Toronto's Interior Design Show, here.
February 03, 2016
The Greenhouses of Half Moon Bay
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
February 03, 2016
Deck of Australian addition to Edwardian home.
A 1,500-square-foot home in Melbourne welcomes a modern black and white kitchen, dining, and living area.
February 03, 2016
open plan concrete home in japan
Embracing the organic, imperfect material, these raw concrete surfaces are a step up from exposed brick.
February 03, 2016
Renovated DC Row House loft space with Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair.
The classic designer's signature and comfortable forms continue to be popular in homes today.
February 03, 2016
Zinc-roofed cabin France.
An architect builds an energy-efficient home near one of France’s most popular pilgrimage sites.
February 03, 2016
1973 Palm Springs home
Made for casual design enthusiasts and Palm Springs connoisseurs alike, Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern offers a peek into 51 buildings—some not open to the public—in that Southern California mecca of modernism. Begun in 2008 by photographer Dan Chavkin, the book is set for release this February 9th and will be available on Amazon and at multiple venues of Modernism Week in Palm Springs, February 11 - 21. Here we preview some of its images.
February 03, 2016
Millennial concept home with an outdoor living area
A concept home aims to reflect the requests of the Millennial market.
February 03, 2016
The two twelve-by-sixteen-foot bedrooms, directly above a comparable pair on the first floor, feature a glass transom that follows the pitch of the roof. “The stair and railings were very simple,” Depardon observes. “We added a bit of design, with panels
Skylights needn't be simple overhead daylighting; sometimes they can truly define a room.
February 03, 2016
Modern small space Rhode Island cottage with landscaping and cedar cladding
Surrounded by nature, these cottages are tranquil retreats from the city.
February 03, 2016
The couple kept original touches, including the arch.
Historic archways belie these contemporary homes with physical reminders of each structure's storied past.
February 03, 2016
modern guesthouse in norway with angular facade and cutaway patio with spruce cladding and ikea chair
These houses make room for nature, not the other way around.
February 02, 2016
Modern kitchen with yellow sectioned walls and monochrome appliances
Whether it's a splash of color or bold strokes, this collection of interiors brightens up these homes.
February 02, 2016
Rust-washed concrete wall in Moscow apartment renovation.
This 590-square-foot apartment was stripped down to admit sunlight and dramatically reveal forgotten surfaces.
February 02, 2016
Nendo's collection of objects inspired by Star Wars
In a galaxy not so far away, Japanese studio Nendo has released a versatile collection of objects inspired by classic Star Wars characters.
February 02, 2016
Monti catered to his mother’s love of cooking by giving her ample storage areas along the 70-foot long walnut wall-slash-cabinet. The refrigerator, kitchen items and other goods easily disappear into the wall when not in use. The nonporous, stain-, scratc
Sometimes the earthy colors and vivid grain of a wood like walnut is all you need to make a space.
February 02, 2016
renovated modern home in Austin interior kitchen
From California to Connecticut, these midcentury interiors still shine through thanks to the careful attention of architects and residents alike.
February 02, 2016
Outdoor dining area at a Saigon home.
A city home honors the local culture with communal outdoor space and reclaimed materials.
February 02, 2016
Affordable Portland home upper floor wrapped in black corrugated steel
These homes revel in both nature and city life.
February 01, 2016
London bedroom with exposed beams.
These homes show their bones to great effect.
February 01, 2016
Bar in an Amsterdam loft.
Bend an elbow with us at these very local watering holes.
February 01, 2016