A farmhouse in Italy is getting a 50-year-old giant tree in its living room — take a look

CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati
  • Carlo Ratti Associati, an international design firm, is renovating an Italian farmhouse with a giant tree in the living room.
  • After renovations end in late 2019, the building will become a private residence in northern Italy.
  • The tree, a 50-year-old Ficus, is a good fit for homes because it tolerates indoor temperatures all year.

A design firm based in Italy is renovating a farmhouse with a 32-foot-tall tree in the living room.

Carlo Ratti Associati will build the home, called the “Greenary,” as a private residence in the countryside of northern Italy. CRA is designing the property around a 50-year-old Ficus tree, which is native to Asia and Australia.

The Ficus plant is a good fit for homes because it tolerates indoor temperatures all year, according to CRA. The firm aims to give the tree the most natural light possible, so it created a 33-foot-tall glass wall as part of the design.

The house will be split into six spaces; each one will serve a different purpose, such as practicing yoga, keeping a wine cellar, or listening to music. The design follows the architectural concept of “raumplan,” which calls for creating a sequence of rooms with different heights instead of distinct floors.

Greenary’s dining room sits a little below ground level. It is at the bottom of the 33-foot-tall glass wall, so residents will be able to see donkeys and other animals as they eat inside. The entire complex is about 8,610 square feet.

According to CRA’s website, founding partner Carlo Ratti said the Greenary design reflects “biophilia,” a theory that humans have an innate tendency to connect with nature.

The renovations have started this fall and are set to end by late 2019.

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