7 Amazing Buildings Designed to Incorporate Nature

Having a green lung inside a building adds a great deal of quality of life.

Nov 16, 2016
(Casa Vogue)

Architecture is an incredibly interesting discipline, combining unbelievable feats of engineering with breathtaking art and from that mix, creating a beautiful and functional product for us to live and work in. One of the downsides of human expansion however, has been that it usually came at the cost of nature, which had to make way for our ever growing need for more living space.

In recent years, a more conscientious and natural approach to architecture has emerged, which realizes the benefit of incorporating existing nature into our buildings, rather than replacing it. This architectural evolution will obviously not stop deforestation, but certainly constitutes an important change in mindset, that one day might bear bigger fruit. And until then, we can all marvel in the beauty of these creative designs.

1. THE KINDERGARDEN SURROUNDING A TREE, JAPAN

Fuji Kindergarten in Tachikawa, Japan, was built in a circular shape around a 50-year-old Zelkova tree with a storied past. A glass, steel and wood construction closer to the tree itself lets children play and explore in the kindergarten’s yard.

(Tezuka Arch)

2. THE TREE IN THE LIVING ROOM, BRAZIL

This beautiful home, designed by architect Alessandro Sartore, allows trees that were already growing on the plot of land to continue up and through the new structure, provide air, shade, and a sense of flow in the various rooms. In addition to housing the trunk of the tree, lovingly called Bethany, this 3-meter-wide sky light brings in lots of light and ventilation.

(Casa Vogue)

3. NIAVARAN RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX, IRAN

Mohammad Reza Nikbakht designed this five story complex comprised of 30 residential apartments. The plot of land on which the Niavaran complex was built, hosts a number of old trees whose conservation has been considered as the first priority in designing the complex. 

4. SARUHANBEY SCIENCE, CULTURE AND EDUCATION FOUNDATION, TURKEY

When Turkish authorities said the 325 year old pine tree could not be cut down to make way for the Foundation, architects found a loophole...or two. The branches of the ancient tree reach all the way through the roof of the building and over the balcony.

5. 25 VERDE

Italian architect Luciano Pia incorporated over 150 trees into 25 Verde’s eco-friendly design, which translates into less pollution and less noise for residents. The trees absorb harmful toxins put into the air by cars and even create a “microclimate” during the seasons, making the apartments cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter. 

6. THE TEA HOUSE, CHINA

The Tea House, located in the backyard of Singaporan architects Archi-Union’s Shanghai office, is constructed from the salvaged parts of the original warehouse’s collapsed roof. The site was extremely constricted with walls on three sides and a mature tree blocked the yard. Archi-Union brilliantly utilized the tree to create an open area within the yard.

7. TREE IN THE HOUSE

Kazakh architect Aibek Almassov, created this glass house surrounding a tree as a way to combat stone proliferation. First designed in 2013, the project never came into fruition after investors pulled out. Recently, however, a glass and solar panel manufacturer has expressed interest in the project, meaning it could soon become reality.

(A. Masow Architects)
DAVID RUHM, FORMER EDITOR IN CHIEF
David has a passion for languages and words, and loves to see people happy. He writes about inspiring ideas, amazing technologies and all the wonders of the world.