For the love of trees

Trees must be one of nature's finest designs. We roundup five designs from our archive that take their inspiration from the leafy form.

From the beginning of time, trees have inspired humans with their life-giving properties, beauty and form. From an interactive virtual forest to a building that takes its form from the structure of a tree, the work featured here has all been born of a fascination with trees. Some employ principles of biomimicry borrowing from nature's economic and efficient systems while others are influenced by the materiality of timber and working with trees as a visual motif.

We round up five designs that will delight treehuggers.  

Reading trees

Visual artist Gordon Young installed a forest of "Typographic Trees" in Crawley Library in the UK. Read more about it here

A tree house

Mexican studio Talller 13’s Nicolas San Juan apartment building in Mexico City follows ecologically sustainable principles. The structure itself was inspired by trees. See the apartment block here .

A treetop trail

To mark its centenary, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town commissioned a raised walkway through the garden’s arboretum. “Conceptually if you look at the arboretum there are no straight lines, it’s trees, leaves, branches – there is not a single straight line. This sparked the idea of a sinuous, skeletal structure that became the core conceptual idea,” explains architect Mark Thomas. Read more about it here.

An interactive tree

The creative duo Kimchi and Chips' interactive Lit Tree installation uses a small potted tree as the site for a light display that represents a whole new approach to 3D mapping. See how here

A walk in the woods

This large-scale interactive art installation runs on both sides of London's Great Ormond Street Hospital’s 50-metre long corridors, transporting young patients into a magical forest filled with birds, horses, hedgehogs and frogs. Read more about Nature Trail by Jason Bruges Studio here