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Kenneth M. Wyner Photography, Inc.
Kenneth M. Wyner Photography, Inc.

10 Houses Built Around Trees

Kenneth M. Wyner Photography, Inc.
Kenneth M. Wyner Photography, Inc.

Some might say that tree houses are just for kids, but the architects of these innovative homes might beg to differ.

1. The glass-enclosed tree

The architect of this house created vertical windows that enclose the tree trunks.

2. Spiral staircase

Flickr: asmith14850

This spiral staircase in Hector, New York winds around a tree trunk.

3. The living room tree

Courtesy of Pazarquitectura

This cement house in Guatemala has a tree growing through the living room.

4. Tree stump house

Courtesy of the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections

This little house was made from the stump of a cedar tree.

5. The tree-friendly deck

Courtesy of munozarquitectos

This architects of this house in Mexico preserved dozens of trees on the property, including the many trees growing where they wanted to put a pool deck.

6. Beachfront tree house

Courtesy of CoolTreeHouse

The owners of this treehouse on Anna Maria Island in Florida are fighting a zoning battle to keep it.

7. Courtyard tree

Courtesy of Hufft

Even though the house wasn't planned around this small courtyard tree, we like the way a little outdoor space was tucked into the center of the house.

8. Inspired by God

Flickr: Frank Kehren

This house in Tennessee incorporates seven trees. It is currently closed to the public.

9. A-frame house

Courtesy of OnDesign

A house in Tokyo has trees growing though the edge of the roof.

10. The fig tree house

Courtesy of EmailFlyers

The foundation of this 1919 house in Pasadena was built around the roots of a Moreton Bay fig tree thought to be hundreds of years old.

Honorable mention:

Courtesy of The Redwoods Treehouse

It's not a house, but we couldn't resist including this other-worldly pod built around a redwood tree. It's an event venue in New Zealand that holds up to 30 guests.

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Stones, Bones, and Wrecks
Buckingham Palace Was Built With Jurassic Fossils, Scientists Find
iStock
iStock

The UK's Buckingham Palace is a vestige from another era, and not just because it was built in the early 18th century. According to a new study, the limestone used to construct it is filled with the fossilized remains of microbes from the Jurassic period of 200 million years ago, as The Telegraph reports.

The palace is made of oolitic limestone, which consists of individual balls of carbonate sediment called ooids. The material is strong but lightweight, and is found worldwide. Jurassic oolite has been used to construct numerous famous buildings, from those in the British city of Bath to the Empire State Building and the Pentagon.

A new study from Australian National University published in Scientific Reports found that the spherical ooids in Buckingham Palace's walls are made up of layers and layers of mineralized microbes. Inspired by a mathematical model from the 1970s for predicting the growth of brain tumors, the researchers created a model that explains how ooids are created and predicts the factors that limit their ultimate size.

A hand holding a chunk of oolite limestone
Australian National University

They found that the mineralization of the microbes forms the central core of the ooid, and the layers of sediment that gather around that core feed those microbes until the nutrients can no longer reach the core from the outermost layer.

This contrasts with previous research on how ooids form, which hypothesized that they are the result of sediment gathered from rolling on the ocean floor. It also reshapes how we think about the buildings made out of oolitic limestone from this period. Next time you look up at the Empire State Building or Buckingham Palace, thank the ancient microbes.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Ker Robertson, Getty Images
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architecture
5 Scrapped Designs for the World's Most Famous Buildings
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
Ker Robertson, Getty Images

When an architect gets commissioned to build a skyscraper or a memorial, they’re usually not the only applicant for the job. Other teams of designers submit their own ideas for how it should look, too, but these are eventually passed over in favor of the final design. This is the case for some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks—in an alternate world, the Arc de Triomphe might have been a three-story-tall elephant statue, and the Lincoln Memorial a step pyramid.

GoCompare, a comparison site for financial services, dug into these could-have-been designs for Alternate Architecture, an illustrated collection of scrapped designs for some of the most famous structures in the world, from Chicago's Tribune Tower to the Sydney Opera House.

Click through the interactive graphic below to explore rejected designs for all five landmarks.

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