The Ultimate Green Home: The Tree in the House

Sustainable living has gained a significant foothold the world over and many architectural firms are pushing the envelope when it comes to green building and ecological residential design. A perfect example of the synthesis of nature in a home is the Tree in the House concept by A. Masow Architects based out of Kazakhstan that may be built using solar powered glass.

The 4-story cylindrical Tree in the House is the brainchild of architect Aibek Almassov. In 2013, the glass home was to be built around a towering fir tree with circular staircases connecting each floor. After the initial investor backed out, the project was placed on hold. But during the past few months, two new investors have shown interest in getting the Tree in the House venture built. One of the investors produces glass that includes transparent solar panels, fitting for such a forward-thinking glass structure. If all goes according to plan, it is likely that the project will break ground is Almaty, Kazakstan in early 2017.

The technology for solar powered windows exists but one of the main challenges is making them transparent. By integrating solar function in windows, both homes and commercial buildings unable to utilize roof-top panels could generate electricity.

Intended to merge living spaces with the environment, the tubular home is intended to “provide an escape from the sweltering concrete boxes of city life”.  Providing a 360-degree view of the forest thanks to glazed glass construction, the home will also wrap around a fully grown fir tree as its integral centerpiece.

“The main purpose of this project is to offer an alternative to the bustle of city life,” said Almassov. “We wanted to combine the capabilities of modern industrial design and the natural wealth and beauty. And more importantly it doesn’t harm to environment. This is an opportunity feel the present unity with nature.”

The architectural goal of this home is to “avoid the destruction of forests” and promote “living in harmony with nature,” says Almassov. The renderings for this unique atrium home show a glass tubular structure with four levels. Each floor is a wooden ring with the center opening going from small to large as it works its way up to the crown of the tree. The stairs spiral upward along the outer edges. Rooms are open, with walls and enclosed spaces at a minimum.

As green building continues to evolve, we may see more distinct designs for both homes and commercial spaces emerge that not inly use sustainable materials and minimize the use of our resources but that also include and merge with nature rather than seek to destroy it.