Tree in the house shuns privacy in favor of a great view


October 11, 2013

Tree in the house, by Kazakhstan-based architect and designer Masov Aibek (Image: A.Masow)

Tree in the house, by Kazakhstan-based architect and designer Masov Aibek (Image: A.Masow)

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When done right, there's something uniquely appealing about a house in the woods, as evidenced by properties such as the Black Magic House and Espinar House. We can now add Kazakhstan-based Tree in the house, by local architect and designer Masov Aibek, to our growing list of dream woodland getaways – and perhaps it's the most unusual of the bunch.

Set to be located within the mountainous outskirts of Kazakhstan's largest city (and until 1997, its capital) Almaty, Tree in the house has been designed for two people. Essentially a simple cylindrical glass shape with four floors and a spiral staircase, the house will feature a tree running right through the center, and will shun privacy in favor of a stunning view.

The materials to be used in the construction of Tree in the house include glass and metal, with plasterboard inner dividing walls and wooden flooring. The basic structure will be prefabricated in a factory before being shipped to the woodland plot.

Construction is slated to begin in five months, and completed in 2014 at a cost US$361,000 (not including land). This may seem expensive, but the designer assures us that similar properties in the area regularly exceed $1 million. Indeed, Aibek further reports that he's already received orders to design and build three more houses.

We'll check in with Aibek for further details as the project matures and construction gets underway.

Source: A.Masow via DesignBoom

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams
What happens to all the leaves when they fall - that's quite a mess (the tree in this image is a pine, so think about the sap. Dead limbs? How about water - you are placing a non-permeable barrier on top of a wide portion of the base of the tree that it would usually need in order to get water. What happens when the tree inevitably dies? After all, it is not going to get enough water. The body is also being kept in an artificial while the roots are going to be subject to the outside temps.

Overall, this seems like an arrogant idea, is completely impractical, and disregards the well being of the tree.

Chris White

It will be nice to read a follow up article after someone has had a real one of these. It is good to have impractical, whimsical approaches to many aspects of life. It is called, "Art".


Im not an expert but id like to add my thoughts to your objections..

Chris: 1) Pine tree's don't lose all their leaves/pines annually, I'm not 100% sure on all the pine species in kaz but a few species iv been able to find are the scotts pine, aswell as the stone pine and siberian pine... the only one that listed how long the leaves last was the scotts pine. It says that the leaves survive for 2-4 years in warmer climates.. and up to 9 years in sub arctic climates.. the location of this building is in the mountainous region outside the capital, so i assume its pretty cold... so pine litter might not be very intense year to year.. Also most dead branches break off from the wind once they become weakened... there would be no wind inside the building.. obviously there would have to be manual trimming to keep everything tidy however.(most homes have maintenance anyways, and im assuming based on the price, whoever buys this house has money to spend on abit of maintenance)

2) For a tree that size the roots would spread out far beyond the building, however the biggest/thickest roots would indeed be under the building. However the roots don't just go lateral, they also go down into where the water level is, and if there isn't any water level close you could always set up an automated system to water it, you wouldn't want to water it to much however because you would want to limit growth as much as possible while keeping the tree healthy.

3) The siberian pine has a listed maximum lifetime of 800-850 years... and tree's living to well over a 100 years old is very common, the only reason there isn't more old, huge tree's is we cut them all down to build our "other" homes. The tree will get plenty of water, and im certain that the home won't be hermetically sealed, there would be plenty of airflow... but its worth pointing out that the tree doesnt need oxygen it needs co2, which we breathe, and it gives out oxygen as a by product, so really its a good symbiosis.


The internal tree detracts from the value of the house and the hole for it looks dangerous.


The whole point is the view, which will be all but destroyed by the fact that looking through curved glass distorts everything and seriously annoys your eyes.


Very, unique, I always dreamed of settling in with my true love in a place in a tree... Just a dream...

Peggy Jackson

So what happens to all the wildlife / insects that would normally live in such a tree? How many birds will die trying to fly to the tree only to go splat on the glass? What happens when the tree grows?

Silly, poorly thought out idea in my opinion.


My immediate thought ... I hope they get a few years out of it before a nasty storm comes through and hits the tree with a good lightning bolt! I've seen the aftermath of a tall 'redwood' tree strike - it literally exploded sending splintery pieces far and wide. Try Googling "trees hit by lightning" and see what you get! If that house has a steel frame, it might ground out the strike, but at what cost to the house?

The Skud

lovely to look at, but not practical and the the interest would fade. But I like it as a concept and would make a nice viewing area. Minus the tree as that would be a problem.


I think that is really cool. Perhaps if one used some 'smart glass' where it becomes opaque when power is off, it would give some level of privacy? It is great for those who want to see more of nature while inside.

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