Trees usually make obstacles for architects and builders. They're problems. They're big and immovable, and their root systems cause hellish problems for foundations. 

However, how the architects approach a problem like a tree makes a huge difference. Yes, taking out a tree that's in the way of your build makes things much, much easier. And it's certainly better for the building's structure. But you lose a tree in the process — and a tree is an opportunity.

The trend of simply cutting down trees is changing, though. Some architects have started recognizing the opportunities trees provide for a unique design. Clearly they have different ways to go about it, but that's the great part — the architects still get to bring their own approach to the problem and put their special mark on the project. 

Check out some of the ways architects have respected Mother Nature in their designs.

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1. Ring Around A Tree, Tokyo, Japan

2. The Tea House, Shanghai, China

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3. Tree In The House, Almaty, Kazakhstan

4. Sure, it's just a fence, and it's kind of ironic that the tree is surrounded by wood, but clearly somebody didn't want to cut down even one more tree than necessary.

imgur | smallstone