Large Home Tree / Ignatov Architects

© Courtesy of

Architects: Ignatov Architects
Location: Varna,
Client: George Bonin
Project Area: 780 sqm
Project Year: 2006-2010
Photographs: Courtesy of Ignatov Architects

Commissioned by the well-known art supporter and successful businessman George Bonin and developed by the New York based firm Ignatov Architects, the Home Tree concept is an attempt for defining contemporary, adaptable rural architecture. Its strategy is based on learning from existing trees on site recognizing their natural optimization for the given location and climate. The aim is to align architecture with nature and deliver site-conscious, clean, energy-independent and feasible buildings. In opposition to the Treehouse typology, which presents parasitic dwellings burdening existing trees, the Home Tree concept focuses on developing free-standing, tree-inspired architecture. Besides the usual residential program, each Home Tree house consists of three integral parts that parallel actual trees:

concept diagrams
© Courtesy of Ignatov Architects
  • Productive interior garden (crown)
  • Central cantilevered structure (trunk and branches)
  • Geothermal energy exchanger (roots)

Subparts and systems also work in line with the natural prototype: glazed facades and solar panels utilize sunlight, reversed roof channels rainwater for irrigation, rough multilayered veneers provide insulation and moisture barrier, multifunctional vertical core distributes communications and utilities.

© Courtesy of Ignatov Architects

Each Home Tree project follows these five principles of design:

  1. Adaptability: the building shall adapt to site, not modify it.
  2. Integrity: architecture, structure and all utility systems shall work together and emerge from each other functionally and aesthetically.
  3. Efficiency: construction and maintenance shall require minimal material and energy.
  4. Independence: building shall be self-sustaining through usage of renewable energy systems and waste recycling.
  5. Feasibility: employed green strategies shall pay back within 10 years of use.
© Courtesy of Ignatov Architects
© Courtesy of Ignatov Architects

The Home Tree concept has been applied in real life in two instances – Large Home Tree (main house) and Small Home Tree (guest house). Thanks to this rare opportunity the idea has been explored all the way from theory to realization to feedback in two different scales and configurations. The collected data and achieved results in energy performance and quality of habitation have proved the feasibility of the effort.

Cite: "Large Home Tree / Ignatov Architects" 22 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • up_today_arch

    looks too industrial, to be green house… Too mach concrete…

    • anon

      I now realize that I was such a good architect when I was ten. I could imagine and draw the same “innovative” sketches.

      • Silvia

        But ypu didn’t!!!Did you?

  • markitekt

    some people think that sketch itself is a concept!
    comparison with the tree is funny…

  • Jorge

    One word: postmodern

  • Sam

    People, this is experimental work. It doesn’t care about fitting in your useless categories of style. It is about performance and about being green without being necessary sweet. Sharing new stuff is great.

  • bLogHouse

    The top floor is in reality a huge one car garage with the best view, the best space, skylights, double height and ceramic tiles floor! The whole design is just wrong.

  • sam

    Does it really matter how many “green” features are included in an 8,400 square foot country home built on undeveloped land?