Critiques

Trees are the Hot New Design Element to Love in Luxury Architecture

trophy trees wealthy residential homes

Let’s face it: trees are having a moment. You’ve heard wellness experts extol the benefits of forest bathing. You’ve read about the intelligence and communication abilities of trees that were heretofore unknown. But why are trees are the hot new design element to love in luxury architecture? According to multiple publications, including the Wall Street Journal, trophy trees are the hot new 2021 design element in luxury architecture, inspiring plans (and generating enormous expenditures) for the best new residential real estate developments and homes of the wealthy. So if you’re looking for a sound investment that doesn’t involve cryptocurrency or a SPAC, here’s a new idea to consider. ‘Cause who needs an NFT when you can invest in a magnificent tree?

trees as a luxury design element in contemporary architecture

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported on an emerging trend in luxury real estate that caught our eyes: the trophy tree. The Journal reports that “trophy trees are the latest new status symbols” for the wealthy.

You thought your palatial $15,000-square-foot custom-built retreat in the woods was the ultimate in luxury residential real estate? Well, now you also have have to have a magnificent tree inside your home.

trophy trees wealthy residential homes

Trophy trees have become essential elements of residential homes for the wealthy. Photo Credit: The Wall Journal.

enter the tree broker

Like a statement necklace, the statement tree is becoming de rigueur among the jet set. And that, of course, means that experts on the subject must be consulted.

The lust for a trophy tree has given rise to an entirely new line of work: the tree broker. One such professional in Florida reported giving an estimate of about $250,000 as his fee to relocate a tree for a wealthy homeowner.

Others claim that identifying, purchasing, transporting and replanting an old-growth tree can be a million-dollar or more operation.

Trophy trees are the hot new 2021 design element in luxury architecture and homes, inspiring residential real estate for the wealthy

Trophy trees have become essential elements of residential homes for the wealthy. St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo Credit: Dandelion Chandelier.

And while the towering trees that some regard as trophies may be pretty, the buying process isn’t. The Journal reports that the great Michael Jordan lost a bidding war for a 45-foot canopied oak tree that was deemed “perfect” by his landscaper.

Also in Florida – where many Manhattan and Greenwich power brokers relocated as the coronavirus pandemic took hold last year – there are reports of an increase in the number of people who are bidding to purchase the houses next to theirs. Not so they can turn it into a guest house, though. It’s so that they can tear the neighboring house down and build a larger garden.

why large trees have become luxury objects of desire

Why all the fuss over mammoth trees, you say? Well, as the Journal explains, “a big tree helps mitigate the scale of a very big house.” They can also make a new home look as if it’s old.

Several years ago, a landscaper in the Hamptons noted that “the definition of a large tree keeps getting bigger” as the mansions of the East End become ever more mega.

A magnificent old tree is a great conversation piece for an outdoor party.

Finally – and this rationale actually resonates the most based on what we know of the ultra-high net worth, “high-net-worth buyers don’t have to wait for a newly planted tree to grow.” Because time is short. And nature can be pokey when it comes to delivering truly majestic greenery.

Trophy trees are the hot new 2021 design element in luxury architecture and homes, inspiring residential real estate for the wealthy

Trophy trees have become essential elements of residential homes for the wealthy.

trophy trees are not just for free-standing homes

You might think that this tree house concept is exclusively relevant in suburban or resort communities, But you’d be wrong. Developers in major urban areas are in on the trophy tree, too.

For instance, in Vancouver, the award-winning architecture firm Heatherwick Studio (birthplace of The Vessel at Hudson Yards) just unveiled the design for two residential towers inspired by trees. The irregular-shaped towers form a bottleneck toward the base and then open up to a shared podium. The overall visual effect is of a pair of towering trees, and the interiors and exteriors of the towers are to be filled to overflowing with greenery and plants.

In Shanghai, Zaha Hadid Architects are incorporating an urban park directly into the base of a new skyscraper. The three interlinked towers in the proposal for the CECEP Shanghai Campus have ample green space and the firm aims to build “the greenest building in the city.”

The pioneer in this wave of residential apartment development starring trees and greenery is in  Milan. The Bosco Verticale, “Vertical Forest,” features two towers whose balconies are covered with a combination of 800 trees and 5,000 shrubs. Completed five years ago, the complex now hosts the nests of more than 20 species of birds.

Trophy trees have become essential elements of residential homes and real estate for the wealthy in 2021.

Who needs a NFT when you can invest in a tree?

Trees are the hot new 2021 design element in luxury architecture, inspiring plans for the best residential real estate developments and homes. So if you happen to have a giant kapok, oak, baobab, ficus or banyan on your property, take very good care of it. Who knows? It might serve as your retirement nest egg should you choose to part with it someday.

trophy trees are the new must-have in luxury homes

It’s official! Trophy trees are the hot new 2021 design element in luxury architecture and homes, inspiring residential real estate developments for the wealthy. What do you think, dear reader? Ready to start a backyard nursery to shore up your nest egg?

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