Want the full treehouse experience without using trees as foundation? Japanese studio UID Architects completed a cantilevered wooden house in Japan that offers just that. Titled the +node, this 1,250-square-foot cedar-clad home overlooks a lush, forested sloped site in southern Japan. Comprising two perpendicular steel-frame volumes, the minimalist structure suspends the upper level of the t-shaped house 33 feet above the forest floor; a square-shaped opening allows trees to grow up through its frame.
UID Architects designed +node with a subdued all-timber palette to help the light-filled structure blend into to its forested surroundings. A diagonal pathway interrupts the upper-level rectangular volume, separating a small study to the north from the kitchen, dining, and living areas at the southern end of the cantilevered structure. A flight of stairs connects the living room to the lower level, a second perpendicular volume that is partly submerged into the embankment and comprises the master suite and child’s bedroom.
“The site is located at the node point of nature and human-made places,” writes architect Keisuke Maeda. “I thought about a place for animals, plants and human beings.” Skylights and large glazed openings open the house up to views of the landscape and fill the interior with natural light. At the end of the cantilever, the architects created rectangular openings to allow a tree to grow up through the structure. Raw plywood covers the interior walls and is complemented by pale cherry flooring.
Images via UID Architects, © Hiroshi Ueda