Design firm Baumraum’s modern tree house in Belgium sparks a dialogue about nature and architecture. To reduce impact at the site, the team prefabricated the house and craned it atop 19 steel columns, arranging it so that the surrounding trees’ roots wouldn’t be harmed. From within the structure, people experience a perspective that inspires more respect and consideration of the environment at large.
Located in a hidden valley on the picturesque Izu Peninsula, a few hours west of Tokyo, the Watanabe Residence, designed by architect Tadashi Murai, looks more like an imposing black box propped amidst the wooded landscape than a model of environmental friendliness. In Japan, where the average life span of a building is about 25 years, using basic materials like plywood was essential to Murai’s design.
Uninspired by the loft options in downtown Portland, Oregon, residents Stefan and Nicole Andrén opted to design and build their own freestanding version in the hills just minutes from the city.
It's from the cold, gray forests of Russia that architect Aleksandr Zhidkov drew inspiration for this residence in rainy Polivanovo, just outside Moscow. Plenty of wood and a monochromatic color palette help create a cozy home that's reflective of its surrounding environment.
Celebrating the greenery of their Northwestern site, the Heid family incorporated mostly native plants into their courtyard, designed as an ovoid decagon, a layout made to bring people together. The George Nelson Platform bench is from Design Within Reach. Solarban low-e glass improves insulation.
Designed by architecture students in a Vermont forest, the Birch Pavilion sits atop a 14-by-26-foot platform composed of hemlock and pressure-treated timbers. Photo courtesy of Moskow Linn Architects.