Throughout history, humans have sought to live closer to nature and seek a balance between dwellings and the trees they are built near. In fantasy and reality this desire has been accomplished in a wide variety of forms.
Part of this work has been to explore the shaping of a tree's trunk and branches to create a form which can be used to recontour the landscape and provide form and body to building structures. These structures blend gracefully with their environment, as the threshold may be pronounced or subtle. The plan of these dwellings is not to replace something on the land, it is to effect a synthesis of elements that formulate a Living Environment.
At large, this work is about learning to cooperate with the land, and the Earth itself. There is an ebb and flow to the balance of nature, and in it we can decide how we drift (though we know not where). We may find ourselves part of the formulation of new feedback loops, how we participate will influence the living nature. By attempting to manifest the forms that nature moves toward, life can thrive in these 'efficiency wells'.
An image of the winch setup that is being used to shape this treeThe Tree
A perspective shot of the trunk curvatureA Distance Shot
A shot from the driveway opening, showing a proof-of-concept tree as it is being arched over a roadbedExtreme trunk arching
A shot showing a great deal of bendingThe Tension Meter
A guage for measuring the tension applied to the tree.A Diagram
A sketch of what is being done
Initially prepared for the 2003 Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities
Earth House designs, properties for sale, e-zine, forum and moreDOE Factsheet
A thorough compilation of information on recent/semi-industrial earth house practices.Phil & Lisa's House
An earth house built using a wide array of energy efficient systems and practices, which also incorporates sensors.Complete Book of Underground Houses; R.L. Roy