The House Among Trees

Any architecture that is built with nature in mind, is made with concrete and has wooden interior elements, immediately gets an instant like from me. There’s just something about the combination of wood, concrete and trees that I love.

In this case the trees were included by law. Local construction codes of Mar Azul, Beunos Aires, Argentina actually restrict the removal of trees. Instead of relocating the house the architects, Martín Fernández de Lema and Nicolás F. Moreno Deutsch, decided to build the house around them. Leaving the end result a beautifully designed, wide open house that is seemingly the perfect spring or summertime residence.

Images via Arch Daily.

35 Comments Leave A Comment


Simon CV B says:

April 30, 2010 at 1:26 am

Wow…I could absolutely see me having this as a summer residence.
What’s the climate in Mar Azul?
Not to windy or hurricane-frequent I hope… Could end quite messy.


Alex Key says:

April 30, 2010 at 9:48 am

I agree, the incorporation of nature, concrete, and wood almost always equals a win in design (for me).

Hopefully somebody measured how big the base of those trees get. somebody might be replacing that deck in several years.


HairyMan says:

April 30, 2010 at 10:11 am

This is beautiful! Simple and clean! This type of architecture is my favorite too, reminds me a little of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Architecture.


Shelby says:

April 30, 2010 at 10:12 am

Alex, I’m not sure that these trees get that big, but that was the first thing that I thought when I saw this house.

In its own way, I could see this evolving into a four story tree house.


shawn says:

April 30, 2010 at 10:56 am

Alex Key – you read my mind. those decks are going to have to be recut in about ten years.

that is a form over function fail.

say that 5 times fast.


Thomas says:

April 30, 2010 at 2:19 pm

I like the spaces that were created. Also the materials. I’m a big fan of concrete. However, it looks like the floors are made of wood so I guess as the tree grows you can just whip out a jigsaw or something and cut the floor out. Note that the concrete ceiling holes are bigger than the floor holes. But those trees do get freaking big. It’d be interesting to see if the tree grows around it (like a fat person wearing a tight belt) or if it will crack the concrete. The roof will definitely collect a nice hefty layer of cones and needles in 1 year.


C. Thueson says:

April 30, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Not sure what you call the process, but I love it when concrete walls have that horizontal wood-slat texture from the wood-mold. Great house.

+ Lived in Argentina for 2 years and never saw anything this minimal/modern and amazing.


Tardlovski says:

April 30, 2010 at 4:05 pm

i guess i’m a party pooper as i find that place, particularly the bedroom, very unwelcoming. from a pure aesthetic perspective it is pretty badass, from a functional, livable “home” perspective i would be depressed as hell living there.


paul says:

April 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm

It reminds me of the many homes to be seen on Dwell’s website. Very nice and probably more than a little pricey.


nevsum says:

April 30, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Enjoying your posts Shelby, you have a good eye/aesthetic. This house is hit and miss for me. Like the composition and spaces but it doesn’t meet the ground well and feels a bit foreign to the environment. More wood maybe? That’s were FLW was a master, his homes truly tied into their environment. Really don’t like the “Design Within Reach” furnishings either, could have been way more interesting.


Rob says:

May 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm

One of the most beautiful pieces of architecture I’ve ever seen. Modern, clean, but the texture of the walls complements the natural setting.

Great post!



Anonymous says:

July 5, 2010 at 11:51 am

I would have made the trees more into the depths of the house. Why only sorround them in the perimeter, why not instead make the table of the kitchen or the night stand, with trees??


Martin Fernadez de Lema says:

October 5, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Thanks Shelby and all u people who take the time to see this work and think somethig about it. This is my humble opinion to architectural culture. Maybe you surprised that I am still a student! Stay in touch.
ps. great playlist!


Shelby says:

October 5, 2010 at 10:06 pm


Awesome that you tuned in!

I may have to come to you to design my future house. Keep in touch and let me know if you have any other works alike this one. Great work—truly appreciate it.