Not all architecture trends make us shiver with delight, but preserving nature when building contemporary homes is something we deeply encourage. Recently completed in Sydney, Australia, the Hopetoun Avenue Residence by B.E Architecture perfectly conserves a beautiful, mature lemon-scented gum tree. The project consisted of a renovation of a period home, completed with a highly modern extension. This addition is physically light, in order to protect the tree and offers an intentional point of difference to the solidity of the existing sandstone house.

According to the architects, the covered outdoor spaces are literally built around the tree, encapsulating and framing the trunk. The timber-clad columns recede into the background and a fine line of glazing opens to the densely planted side yard for continuous access to the natural environment from within the interior spaces. And this is where it gets interesting, as the upper level sits in the branches of the tree floating above the bottom structure to provide a unique setting overlooking views to the Sydney Harbour. The roof is treated in stone, which gives it a bohemian look, especially when covered in fallen leaves.