When constructing a building on a site covered in trees, most architects specify that the majority of the trees will need to be felled to make room for the building. The architects of the new Shen Shen garden office in Shanghai wanted to buck the trend, however, by designing an office building while keeping most of the trees on the site.
The architects at Yushe Design said:
“The relationship between building and trees is emphasised in the design. The building is supposed to grow up among the trees.”
The outdoor spaces in the building have concrete flooring laid around the trees. The entrance to the building has a concrete canopy supported by two columns. A tree grows from the ground and through a hole cut in the canopy.
The building has two stories, with the upper levels overlooking the tree canopy. Outdoor terraces overlook the treetops
This is not the first project to protect existing trees. Edgeley Design created a house in South London on a site with a 100-year-old pear tree. The house is arranged around a central courtyard where the tree grows. A rectangular section cut out of the concrete flooring allows the tree to grow.
In Los Angeles, a Cypress tree grows in a house. The trunk of the tree is in an inside room with a hole cut in the roof for the tree to grow out of.
Combining concrete flooring with natural materials is popular, but not many buildings successfully manage to combine concrete floors, walls, and ceilings with trees.
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