House NA, Japan / Sou Fujimoto Architects

Architect                          : Sou Fujimoto Architects

Location                           : Tokyo, Japan

Project year                   : 2010

Area                                    : 592 sqm

Project status                :  Completed

The concept for the house was based on the idea of living in a tree, as the clients asked for a home that would allow them to live as nomads in their own home. The spacious interior consists of 21 individual floor plates, all situated at various heights, allowing the house to be used flexibly: individuals can choose to be close or distributed across the house like birds perched on the various branches of a tree. 

The floor plates range in size from 1.95-sqm to 7.5-sqm (21 to 81 sqft) and are linked by a variety of stairs and ladders, some mixed and some movable. The varying levels of floor plates allow them to serve different functions, such as seating and work spaces, as well as circulation.

“The intriguing point of a tree is that these places are not hermetically isolated but are connected to one another in its unique relativity. To hear one’s voice from across and above, hopping over to another branch, a discussion taking place across branches by members from separate branches. These are some of the moments of richness encountered through such spatially dense living.”

                                                                                                - Sou Fujimoto

Sou Fujimoto also states, “The white steel-frame structure itself shares no resemblance to a tree. Yet the life lived and the moments experienced in this space is a contemporary adaptation of the richness once experienced by the ancient predecessors from the time when they inhabited trees. Such is an existence between city, architecture, furniture and the body, and is equally between nature and artificiality.”

The steps between the plates at times will become seating and desks, at times as a device segmenting a territory, and at times each akin to leaves of the foliage filtering light down into the space.

Some floor plates are equipped with in-floor heating to help during the winter months, while strategically placed fenestration maximizes air flow and provides the only source of ventilation and cooling during summer.

The HVAC and plumbing equipment, as well as storage and lateral bracing are located in the thick, north-facing wall at the rear of the house. Additional lateral bracing is provided by a full-height bookshelf and lightweight concrete panels integrated within the side elevations.


Video : Daily life in House NA, Tokyo.

Cite: Blog. (2017). Unique Homes in Japan: Living as a Nomad in a Glass Treehouse - Blog. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Oct. 2017].

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