Do you have a tree through your house?

In many of the houses I have featured on my blog lately it seems that the architects have had a tendency to incorporate a tree into the actual building. I think it is a clever way to create spaces where you might not really know if you are fully inside or outside, a transitional space, leading you in or out of the building and making you build up some sort of expectation of what to come. Below is Le Cobusier’s L’Espirit Nouveau Pavilion from 1925, where the architect left open a perfect circle in the flat roof, making space for a tree to grow through.

Further on, we have the Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn who designed the Nordic Pavilion for the 1962 Venice Biennale. Fehn payed attention tho the fact that there was trees growing on the site, and instead of building on top of them, he built outside and around them.

Contemporary architects also, as we have seen, design buildings where a tree or two is an important part of the whole. “House On Rue Galvani” by architects Christian Pottgiesser is such a project. The house seems fully transparent, but most of the functional spaces are hidden away either on first floor or under ground. When approaching the architects, the clients had one thing in mind: they wanted to preserve a small garden on the site with the intention to create an open space to be admired from the outside.

Architect Bjarne Mastenbroek designed this tea pavilion in the Netherlands. The building is spiral in plan, and in the centre there stands a small group of trees.

Rough whole tree trunks used as supporting structural elements are visible from the outside, and increases the expression of  an continuous discussion between the nature on the outside, the tree trunks on the inside and the small group of trees in the centre.


Pictures from



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