Been-Seen logo


Fab Tree Hab

We love this idea for a totally green home. Created by three designers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Human Ecology Design program (Mitchell Joachim, Lara Greden and Javier Arbona), the Fab Tree Hab is a home that you grow, quite literally, out of trees. A home that grows, lives and flows around you, adding balance to the environment, rather than taking it away.

Created as a design solution for Habitat for Humanity International, the Fab Tree Hab was inspired by the creation of a crooked cedar and honeysuckle summer home in the middle of a cornfield, by Henry David Thoreau and Amos Bronson Alcott for their friend Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1847. The construction technique is called pleaching – a method of weaving tree branches together to form archways and lattices, used in gardening for many years. The Fab Tree Hab is created using native trees with a protective layer of vines, lined on the inside with a clay and straw composite.

The designers describe water as the pulmonary system of the home. It circulates from a collector on the rooftop, passes through human consumption and then irrigates the garden (creating transpiration, which simultaneously cools the home), or is cleaned by bacteria, fish and plants in a pond.

Obviously, building Fab Tree Habs will require some patience, waiting for nature to take its course – but with some forward planning (which is what we seem to need more of on this planet), in the near future we could all be living in living tree houses.

Back to articles

    Any comments?