Putting a whole new spin on the term “tree house,” Mérida, Mexico’s Casa del Arbol might rest on the ground, but it features a tree as its focal point in a way that no other structure ever has. The Mexican architecture firm AS Arquitectura has built this exceptional residence around an 80-year-old “Pich” tree that occupies a central spot in a central courtyard. Thanks to the open design of Casa del Arbol, occupants can view the Pich tree from almost any vantage point on the property.
By presenting the tree as a focal point, AS Arquitectura is paying homage to the local afternoon tradition of visiting with neighbors beneath the shade of a tree. To reinforce their dedication to these values, AS Arquitectura and the owners of Casa del Arbol have earmarked a green space at the end of the site as a public space, where city residents can continue to enjoy the surrounding trees as well as the shade that they produce.