1Train station built around a 700-year-old tree (Japan)
The Big Kusu Tree of Kayashima, as the camphor tree is known, is older than most records, but officials estimate that it has been around for at least 700 years. In 1910, when Kayashima was opened, the tree stood right next to it, offering travelers much-needed shelter on both sunny and rainy days. It stayed that way for the next 60 years, but as Japan's population increased, overcrowding became a problem. Authorities decided that the train station needed to be expanded—plans were approved in 1972, and the camphor was going to be cut down.
Those plans were scrapped, and Kayashima station was built around the camphor tree. By 1980, it was completed, and the tree was converted into a sort of a shrine. It stands surrounded by a fence of sacred plaques and “wears" a sacred Shimenawa rope strung with shime strips, which symbolizes the presence of a deity and wards off its curse. (Source)
2Library built around a centenarian walnut tree (France)
On the ground floor, extensive glazing allows the interior space to meld with the outdoor area to the rear of the building—this is where the structure winds around the old walnut tree and becomes a courtyard-like reading area. Terraced wood patios and a stone bench invite visitors to stay a while. (Source)
3A restaurant built around a 100-year-old fig tree (Brazil)
4Glass house built around an entire tree (Kazakhstan)
The four-story, circular building is walled with glass for views of the surrounding woods. There is no privacy, but that's less of a concern when squirrels are your only neighbors. Since the tree branches spread out to fill more space on the upper levels of the home, most of the actual living space is at the base of the building. The first floor is divided into a bathroom and kitchen, and a bed fits on the second level.
The house has yet to be constructed. (Source)
5The school built around a historical tree (Japan)
The tree, which is about 50 years old, was nearly uprooted during a typhoon. Lifeless and gray, it came back to life against everyone's expectations. Before the school was built in 2007, the tree was a popular place for kids to climb and hang out. Now, the surrounding buildings' windows face the tree so the children inside can see it all the time. For recess, or when they're waiting for their bus, the kids can play on the platforms around it. An adult would only see two floors of the structure, but lower levels give children places to explore where adults won't fit.
6The road built around an araucaria tree (Brazil)
Photographer Odan Jeager
7House built around several trees (Brazil)
8Hillside house in Los Angeles built around a tree (US)
As the house is also on a steep slope, they cantilevered a section of it to protect the native flora and fauna in the yard. In one of the bedrooms, the tree pierces through the floor and ceiling, and out through the roof. (Source)
9Bar built around a hanging tree (US)
The building has a long and macabre history, stretching back to the 1850s. Visitors always notice the large tree that the bar is built around. Now a delightful natural centerpiece, in the 1800s it was used as the town hanging tree—at least 75 people were hung there for piracy.