Bridgette Meinhold

Japanese Treetop Tea House is "Built Too High"

by , 03/19/09
filed under: Architecture, Treehouses

tea house, tree house, sustainable architecture, green building, terunobu fujimori, takasugi-an, japanese tree house, chino nagano japan

The Japanese certainly have a penchant for out-of-this-world tree-top architecture, and this incredible Takasugi-an tea house is no exception. Designed by architect Terunobu Fujimori, the tree-bound tea house stands precariously perched upon the trunks of two timbers erected on a plot of family land in Chino, Nagano Prefecture.

tea house, tree house, sustainable architecture, green building, terunobu fujimori, takasugi-an, japanese tree house, chino nagano japan

In Japan, tea masters have traditionally maintained total control over their construction of their tea houses. Their main concern for these “enclosures” was simplicity, and in order to keep things simple, tea masters preferred not to involve architects or craftsman to help them with the construction.

Building upon this tradition, Fujimori’s tea house is quite small and compact, and can accommodate four and a half tatami mats (29 sq ft). The architect describes the small building as though “it were an extension of one’s body, like a piece of clothing.” However Fujimori’s main concern is not necessarily the art of tea making, but pushing the limits and constraints of a traditional tea house.

Two chestnut trees were felled on a nearby mountain and brought to the site, where they were used as the supports for the structure – Takasugi-an literally means “a teahouse [built] too high.” Guests must climb a freestanding ladder, which leans against one of the trees, in order to reach the little house. Midway up the ladder, guests must remove their shoes and leave them on the platform.

tea house, tree house, sustainable architecture, green building, terunobu fujimori, takasugi-an, japanese tree house, chino nagano japan

The interior of the tea house is constructed from simple materials such as plaster and bamboo. Once inside, you can almost forget that you are in a tree house high above the ground due to the serene and calm interior. Three windows frame the views of the surrounding valley and the town in which Fujimori grew up. Visible through the large picture window is Fujimori’s first project, the Jinchokan Moriya Historical Museum. To Fujimori, the tea house is “the ultimate personal architecture,” and that can be seen in his handmade creation set in a landscape he knows well.

Via Dezeen

Photos by Edmund Sumner

Related Posts

LEAVE A COMMENT

or your inhabitat account below

Let's make sure you're a real person:


5 Comments

  1. Jana_Seeliger July 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I like this. Any idea why they brought parts of trees for stilts from offsite, instead of using trees where it is now located? Also, are the walls cob?

  2. Towering Shipping Conta... October 1, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    [...] you think of a tea house, a traditional low-slung thatched roof, post and beam structure may come to mind — this [...]

  3. 6 Eco Offices That Beat... September 7, 2010 at 10:45 am

    [...] If you’re looking to take your career to new heights, how about putting your office on stilts? That’s what the architects behind this Nunnmps office in Chicago did in order to minimize the project’s footprint and preserve the site’s natural state. Two thirds of the building is underground and the rest is perched up high on stilts! [...]

  4. Modular Buildings June 15, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I must admit truly amazing!

    It looks very unsafe though!

  5. bem629 March 21, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    What a beautiful birdhouse! I was in Japan last summer and was continually amazed by the delicate, small pieces that were part of everyday life. Thanks for sharing this!

    –Brandon, http://www.urbaneblog.com

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
What are you looking for? (Solar, HVAC, etc.)
Where are you located?