I wonder how many safety hazards this tree-bound tea house has. Designed by architect Terunobu Fujimori, Takasugi-an is located in Chino, Nagano Prefecture, Japan and built atop two chestnut trees, cut from a nearby mountain and transported to the site. Takasugi-an literally means “a teahouse 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.
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.
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.