Concepts play a central role in architectural studio projects, but sometimes grow into real-life buildings as well Whether this ‘house tree’ was too literally developed or well-designed is still up for debate, though the sketched diagrams from Bignatov Architects showing off the glass canopy and geothermal roots are impressive either way.
Trees have water-channeling and light-absorbing foliage, supported by branches that funnel nutrients to keep it alive … but that also preserve and serve to shelter what plants and animals lie below. Root systems provide underground stability but also draw sustenance from the earth.
Like leaves, the upper layers of this home draw in solar energy and drain water toward a collection reservoir below – inside, real living greenery produces oxygen for inside the house (while selectively-tinted glass protects human inhabitants).
Living and working areas are located with maximum access to light above, while sleeping and dining quarters are situated on the level below. Geothermal heat exchangers and piped wells tunnel into the foundation of the site, cycling warm and cool air and drawing up (non-drinkable) water for irrigation and graywater uses.
Still, there is something a little boxy about the final product, given its organic inspiration. Cold concrete and bland tiles add little comfort, and a well-manicured interior lawn is green but somehow sterile. For all of its organic systems, the rectilinear shape detracts somewhat from the elegantly environmental concept. Add a little more greenery and irregular rounded shapes, and you’d have a beautiful home with a strong biophilic nature.
More from the architects
“Private house with large conservatory for subtropical and Mediterranean flowers. Architectural tectonics are inspired by local trees. Low-energy house with geothermal heating and cooling system. Concept features compact footprint, order of transparency and mass, local materials and craftsmanship.”
About Bignatov Studio
“Bignatov Studio is a contemporary interdisciplinary architectural firm with offices in New York, USA and Varna, Bulgaria. We are interested in contemporary green architecture and related experimental artistic work. The company is established by Boris Ignatov in 2004 in New York. Mr. Ignatov holds Master degrees in architecture from Columbia University in New York (2006) and Sofia University of Architecture (1995). He has worked for several large architectural firms including “Perkins + Will Architects” and is a licensed architect in the state of New York and Bulgaria. Our work has been internationally acclaimed for environmental awareness. We are a practice that focuses on delivering exceptional design with a considered and personal service. Our work aims to make a lasting contribution to the urban and natural context by challenging, provoking and delighting.”