10 Thoughtful Ways to Incorporate Trees Into Homes

Add to
Like
Comment
Share
By Dwell / Published by Dwell
Although many architects today are doing everything they can to create projects that work closely with nature, it's not as common to see structures built entirely around a single tree.

In the following images, you'll find 10 interesting examples that show how some architects aren't afraid to let a tree dictate design decisions if it means saving the living entity, leaving the land undisturbed, or bringing some life into the space. 

An Entire Elm Tree That Supports a Living Room

10 Thoughtful Ways to Incorporate Trees Into Homes - Photo 1 of 10 - As in House 1.0, 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.

As in House 1.0, 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.

10 Thoughtful Ways to Incorporate Trees Into Homes - Photo 2 of 10 - 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 the house.

10 Thoughtful Ways to Incorporate Trees Into Homes - Photo 3 of 10 - Aidlin Darling took pains during construction to preserve the cypress trees that gives the Great Highway House so much of its charm.

Aidlin Darling took pains during construction to preserve the cypress trees that gives the Great Highway House so much of its charm.

10 Thoughtful Ways to Incorporate Trees Into Homes - Photo 4 of 10 - The common area, a long open alleyway on the ground floor, serves as a gathering place, dining room, and playground for the children. This is where family members interact, communicate, and build relationships, all while exposed to the changing seasons through the net ceiling, which is open to the sky.

The common area, a long open alleyway on the ground floor, serves as a gathering place, dining room, and playground for the children. This is where family members interact, communicate, and build relationships, all while exposed to the changing seasons through the net ceiling, which is open to the sky.

10 Thoughtful Ways to Incorporate Trees Into Homes - Photo 5 of 10 - "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 the residence its unique atmosphere."

"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 the residence its unique atmosphere."

10 Thoughtful Ways to Incorporate Trees Into Homes - Photo 6 of 10 - Because the Japanese maple in the courtyard had to be planted before the ipe deck was laid, Kurath designed a small removable panel to allow access to the tree’s base. The Shozis can pull up the bit of decking to tend to the tree and replace it when they’re through. And because the boards line up perfectly, only the gardener need know it’s there. From the kitchen and living room you’re well connected to the courtyard and the rest of the house. 

Because the Japanese maple in the courtyard had to be planted before the ipe deck was laid, Kurath designed a small removable panel to allow access to the tree’s base. The Shozis can pull up the bit of decking to tend to the tree and replace it when they’re through. And because the boards line up perfectly, only the gardener need know it’s there. From the kitchen and living room you’re well connected to the courtyard and the rest of the house. 

10 Thoughtful Ways to Incorporate Trees Into Homes - Photo 7 of 10 - 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.

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.

10 Thoughtful Ways to Incorporate Trees Into Homes - Photo 8 of 10 - Mark Word Design incorporates trees directly into the deck and seating area at the Lakeview Residence in Austin, Texas.

Mark Word Design incorporates trees directly into the deck and seating area at the Lakeview Residence in Austin, Texas.

10 Thoughtful Ways to Incorporate Trees Into Homes - Photo 9 of 10 - The building is composed of a partially-buried concrete box covered with a well-insulated cedar-and-larch shell (what Maeda calls "the nest" and "the fallen leaves"). 

The building is composed of a partially-buried concrete box covered with a well-insulated cedar-and-larch shell (what Maeda calls "the nest" and "the fallen leaves"). 

10 Thoughtful Ways to Incorporate Trees Into Homes - Photo 10 of 10 - 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. 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. 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.