The relationship between nature and architecture is long and very close. The best architects have always stood out for making their buildings coexist with the environments in which they are built… and for using the context to their advantage.
Within this intimate relationship, trees have a special role to play. You don’t have to think too hard to imagine in those robust trunks and powerful branches the structure of pillars.
Just think of tree houses. These “children’s” constructions are a classic. But they have also evolved over time and today it is even possible to find hotels built on the tops of trees.
It is precisely this type of construction that inspires many of today’s best architects and designers. Tree architecture is increasingly used to create modern, ecological and surprising spaces in which nature takes centre stage.
In addition to aesthetics and respect for the environment, there are other benefits. Trees can be of interest in areas such as thermal comfort, air quality and many other things related to the habitability of a space..
Evolution of tree houses
Leading representatives of interior design and architecture speak of the tree house as a throwback to the past. This concept began with the placing of planks on branches to protect against threats from the ground.
Later, it became a children’s game, but… what about today? but what about today?
Architecture on trees is increasingly being used as a perfect option for the construction of innovative environments. Canopy construction of hotel rooms, shelters, parts of houses, etc. is more relevant than ever.
It is a time when the international society looks at the ecosystem and understands the importance of caring for and protecting it. And that is why this tree architecture is more alive than ever.
Uses of architecture in constructions on trees
Building designers are increasingly taking into account the flora of the building site.
In the design and creation process, as well as in the execution of the work, it is necessary to decide which trees are worth preserving. Thought must also be given to how they are to be made to coexist with the materials so that the result is functional, aesthetic and positive for the growth of the trees.
This means that not only trees are good for buildings, but buildings are also good for trees. Architecture can contribute to their conservation and growth in spaces as unnatural as cities.
This coexistence of the natural and the artificial has one objective: to turn trees from being merely decorative to being an essential element in urban architecture.
Benefits of architecture on trees
There are many benefits of having trees in the construction of any type of building or structure. These natural elements are vital: they improve the thermal comfort of structures, reducing the ground temperature by 5 to 10ºC.
Having trees in buildings is also favourable for air quality, to create an insulating “cushion” against external sound and because having large plants nearby has a very positive impact on the mental health of the inhabitants of these structures.
Integration with nature of urban spaces and architecture
Vertical gardens, hanging forests, trees presiding over interior galleries? These are just a few examples of the integration with nature and the use of tree architecture.
In this way, the professionals responsible for the expansion of urban spaces reduce the ecological footprint of cities. The responsible preservation of a few specimens reduces the phenomenon of deforestation and provides cities with small green lungs.
Examples of architecture on trees
There are many examples of contemporary architecture that integrate the concept of tree architecture into their execution.
Spaces such as the Musée du quai Branly in Paris are the result of excellent work in this sense: the building is clad with a plant façade designed by Patric Blanc. It is one of the great examples of how the natural and the artificial can not only coexist but also enhance any space.
Another example is the Bosco Verticale apartment complex designed by Borei Studio in Milan. This building is a veritable vertical forest containing more than 16,000 specimens of different types of vegetation. The aim, beyond creating a building that does not go unnoticed, is to make the most of nature to create an ecological urban environment.
All this shows that tree architecture has evolved by leaps and bounds and is more alive than ever. More and more professionals are working under these ecological precepts. And clients who seek to maintain the flora of the places where they choose to live. A commitment to an increasingly natural and sustainable future.