When a São Paulo family hired global firm Perkins+Will to build their home on a 10,764-square-foot plot in Alto de Pinheiros, the main challenge for the architects was to find a way to respect the generous garden, which occupied about 50 percent of the site.

On the eastern corner of the site was a large and imposing tree with wide, outstretched branches.

The architects wanted to leave this tree undamaged, and also allow it to thrive within the new building.

They decided that the majestic tree was one of the best features of the site and used it the guiding force for their design.

After digitally scanning the tree and its branches, the architects developed the blueprint for the house around it.

The open-plan living, dining, kitchen, and reception area are arranged around the tree, so much of social interaction in the home happens in its presence.

Using three-dimensional mapping, Perkins +Will collaborated with structural engineer Hélio Olga to construct a grid structure made of recycled wood to serve as a shelter for the communal areas.

The mapping process allowed the architects to accurately define the dimensions and heights of the grid in order to minimize the impact on the garden.

Glass sliding doors further enhance the connection between the interior and exterior of the house, and at night, outdoor lighting highlights the landscape of the garden.

The result is a home that not only brings the outdoors in, but that also respects the natural environment of its site.