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Architects have practiced the tradition of grounding a building in its natural surroundings for centuries.

But, as with any trend, this practice has ebbed and flowed over the years. However, once again designers are looking to Mother Earth for inspiration. The reasoning behind this shift is multifaceted, but of course deeply linked to the search for more sustainable building practices. Sourcing local materials and designing structures based on each one’s setting helps ensure the link between the built world and natural world remains intact. It’s about moving away from formulaic design and replacing it with buildings imagined for one place and one place only. A few features architects are adding to their designs in order to pull the natural surroundings inwards are roof cutouts, facades that wrap around existing trees and massive doors that blur the line between interior and exterior. As Mexican architect Manuel Cervantes Céspedes says, “architecture is a shell created between the earth and the sky.”