architectural plans, Building a home around a tree, Chamaedorea elegans, Constructing houses around trees, green trends, houseplants, Indoor tree, indoor trees, office construction, Parlour Palm, trees inside homes, trees inside offices
The term ‘Parlour Palm’ usually refers to that popular, small tree, botanically known as ‘Chamaedorea elegans’, often grown as a houseplant but – with an interestingly artistic twist – can be loosely applied to any species of tree – or bamboo – and cultivated as an integral part of home and office construction.
Including a living, growing tree, be it a bamboo, climber or other perennial plant in architectural plans is the green trend to follow. In fact, bringing the outdoors inside is an exciting environmental move that totally revolutionises the ‘green home’ concept.
‘Indoor tree’ does not necessarily refer to growing a tree in a suitable pot or container but, in this particular instance, applies to trees (or other plants) growing directly in the ground or in specially designed/constructed indoor beds which are part and parcel of the overall interior design.
It is not unusual for a housing plot to have mature trees growing on it and usually such trees are viewed as ‘obstacles’ to be removed prior to construction. The alternative, however, is to have architectural plans drawn up to, as far as is feasible, include any mature trees on-site.
Building a home around a tree/trees is not as odd as some people may think – on the contrary – it is the most natural thing to do providing that is it is done well. Constructing houses – or offices – around trees is a fascinating challenge; architectural plans must incorporate allowances for root and branch expansion and they should also allow for any necessary watering with plenty of ‘glassed’ areas to let the sunshine in.
Cutting down living trees to make space for balconies and verandahs is an environmental crime which need not be. Such facilities can be built around living trees instead of over their ‘murdered’ stumps. Dead trees peeled of bark and polished can make incredible contributions to household interiors as well.
So go greener than green. Don’t simply hug a tree – welcome it into your home – or office!
– B. Khan