Wednesday, Jun. 09, 2010

Takasugi-an, Nagano

In many ways, Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori's Takasugi-an is a traditional Japanese tea house — its design seeks to instil simplicity and tranquility. Like the tea masters of old, Fujimori maintained complete control over the construction of the house, building the entire structure himself on a plot of family land in Nagano. Takasugi-an, which translates as "a teahouse [built] too high," is a single-room structure lofted atop a tree. The tall stilts upon which the house sways make it look the vision of some surreal Dali painting. The room rests above two perfectly balanced chestnut tree trunks that were cut and transported from a nearby mountain. Climb the free-standing ladders for a peaceful afternoon of tea and meditation — only if you're not afraid of heights.