Living in the jungle is a dream come true for international homeowners

Knowing what we do about the healing properties of trees makes many of us look for a home in the woods. Forests are the ultimate antidote to the stressful pace of modern life. They clean the air while boosting our immune system. The Japanese believe Shinrin Yoko, or bathing in the woods. Henry David Thoreau also believed that nature is a tonic. Where better to live than surrounded by trees?

This is the topic of a Waseem new size from Phaidon. who live in the jungle It shows homes designed by 50 different architects in 21 countries. Organized into three chapters, the book illustrates the pioneering and conscientious ways in which these houses frame and blend in and become part of the forest. From small off-grid tree houses to passive experimental architecture, designs offer a number of ways to respect and connect with nature. As built environments steadily encroach on natural ones, it is clear that respect is not the norm and that living in harmony with the earth is a goal many of us stray from.

But here are 50 examples of neighborhood-loving architecture, organized in looking at and surviving in the woods. The first chapter is all about opinion. It showcases 17 models of homes designed to showcase the lush exterior through windows, balconies, rooftops, decks, and expansive glass walls. There are surprises: a contemporary house in Denmark with a very traditional Scandinavian roof and a new house high above the Hudson River in New York built of wood granite and timber, like the manor houses next door. The urban white block house in Bangkok is home to more than 120 trees representing 20 native species, creating a jungle in the city.

In the second chapter, 16 Houses explores the concept of harmony with nature. Some, like a prefab house on a leasehold plot in a Dutch forest, are designed to leave no traces once they are taken apart. Others, such as the Norwegian tree house installed with a live tree trunk, hardly affect the environment at all. Locally sourced materials and a limited natural color palette help these structures blend into their environments. The round house on stilts in the Chinese pine forest, with its high roof, looks like a giant mushroom. The Balinese villa composed of stacked concrete cubes has been smoothed out with cascading greenery.

The third chapter presents ambitious projects built in remote locations and in rugged terrain. A feeling of immersion in nature prevails; These homes were designed in response to the owners’ desire for a home that would disappear into the landscape and provide equal opportunities to find shelter for animals, plants and humans. We see a sunken underground structure hidden under a hillside in Mexico, and a small Finnish cabin perched on a single slender steel column, surrounded by towering pines. An off-grid house in South Africa hovers in a deep canopy of leaves. The owners specified that, for the construction of the house, not a single tree should be cut down.

In each case depicted in the book, trees take center stage and define the building program. Looking at the wonderful photos, we can smell the scent of an ancient pine forest.

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