Nagano Prefecture, Japan – Terunobu Fujimori
Photography: Edmund Sumner
Teahouses are an essential component of Japanese culture. They are very quiet. restful places typically designed and built by the owners to increase intimacy with the space. Takasugi was designed and constructed by architect Terunobu Fujimori on a family plot in Chino, Nagano Prefecture. The tree-bound tea house sits atop two chestnut trees and can only be reached via a free-standing ladder. And to make life even more interesting for guests, they must climb the second stage after leaving their shoes on the midway platform.
The standard Japanese measurement of floor space is the tatami mat. This building is 4.5 mats or just 2.6 m2 (29 s.f.). The internal fitout is bamboo and plaster so as not detract from the simple ambience and the treetop outlook via three large windows.
The name, Takasugi, translates as ‘a teahouse too high’. We tend to agree as, at the end of a hard day, could you really find the energy to utilise this space? We wonder and we’re interested in hearing your perspective too.
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