House NA by Sou Fujimoto Architects

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House NA by Sou Fujimoto Architects

This Tokyo house by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto has hardly any walls and looks like scaffolding (photos by Iwan Baan).

House NA by Sou Fujimoto Architects

House NA has three storeys that are subdivided into many staggered platforms.

House NA by Sou Fujimoto Architects

The few walls that do exist are mostly glass, making certain spaces secure without adding privacy.

House NA by Sou Fujimoto Architects

See more projects by Sou Fujimoto here, including a stack of four house-shaped apartments.

House NA by Sou Fujimoto Architects

See more images of this project on the photographer's website.

Here's some more information from the architects:


House like a single Tree

House standing within a residential district in central Tokyo.

House NA by Sou Fujimoto Architects

To dwell in a house, amongst the dense urbanity of small houses and structures can be associated to living within a tree. Tree has many branches, all being a setting for a place, and a source of activities of diverse scales.

House NA by Sou Fujimoto Architects

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.

House NA by Sou Fujimoto Architects

By stratifying floor plates almost furniture-like in scale, throughout the space, this house proposes living quarters orchestrated by its spatio-temporal relativity with one another, akin to a tree. The house can be considered a large single-room, and, if each floor is understood as rooms, it can equally be said that the house is a mansion of multifarious rooms. A unity of separation and coherence.

Elements from furniture scales come together to collectively form scale of rooms, and further unto those of dwellings, of which renders the city.

House NA by Sou Fujimoto Architects

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.

Providing intimacy for when two individuals chooses to be close to one another, or for a place afar still sharing each other's being. For when accommodating a group of guests, the distribution of people across the entire house will form a platform for a network type communication in space.

House NA by Sou Fujimoto Architects

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.

  • Guest

    Where do they have sex?

    • guest

      with the lights off

    • guest

      in a hotel off course :)

    • http://cargocollective.com/arcalign ArcAlign

      The house is already filled with offspring. Perhaps It's the world's first piece of chastity architecture.

    • dodo

      in the blue car

    • Matthias

      They have curtains, (www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0OShflQnG0) and
      what about the endless possibilities (staircases,levels…).
      I think this is the most interesting small house in recent years.

    • http://www.tallulahward.com Alec

      There was an article somewhere only about three months ago that the Japanese are not as interested in sex as we sex obsessed anglo saxon / gallic / latino etc etc, and we're only obsessed when we're not getting enough, or what we think is enough, and as everybody exaggerates it's difficult to know what is enough. I always think that five time a night is not enough and I'm 67 !!

    • andrea

      In the car.

    • jack

      Perhaps like me they like being watched.

  • http://bizzem.tumblr.com/ Stillunwritten

    I think as a concept ; it has potential. It is different, transparent as our modern life today. However; what makes a home is privacy. You go your home just because of safe feeling.

    • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

      "Home is where you can poop easier"

      So getting back to question #1…

  • Jason

    Their architects, they don’t have sex!

    • travis

      They are: grammer, please.

      • pedant

        Grammar: spelling please.

  • Garlic breath

    there is a sex closet in the back. look at the plan!!!

  • Penny

    Crikes. Not exactly a sanctuary is it. I wonder if the kids are meant to wear white every day.

  • Zaedrus

    It's an interesting study, but seems much more like art than functional architecture. And apparently life safety can kiss it.

  • daniel

    very well done tree analogy and it's really touching! cutting edge as well! big respect for that!
    but shouldn't trees be located in the nature instead of a high density town area?

  • Commom sense

    This house looks idiotic from an energy point of view (Is the glazing unit insulated? Is there a low-e coating? Any shading devices? Is there insulation on the roof?…). This concept seems to be for a greenhouse in summer and a freezer in winter.

    • capcaunu

      My thoughts exactly! For the cost of the energy spent on air conditioning and heating in one year, you could buy another house like that. Or even better, a proper house :)

  • Commom sense

    I also don't see much for resisting any lateral forces. Also don't see any sealant on the windows (this would add thick lines) or air conditioning or heater or much way to provide natural ventilation.

    However I see cool youngster with an Apple computer and a 2CV car.

    I love modern design and glass but sustainability should not be put aside.

  • http://www.mobel-guide.com The_Milanese

    Anti Tadao Ando architecture …
    very good !

  • Mauricio

    With so many windows, How about temperature oscillations (net of sex)?

  • psy

    Is this really a job for a client? or just architect's own installation?
    If this is a job from a client, I really admire the client willing to spent tons of money for a not inhabitable house like this.

    But if I have same money I would definitely buy a "Picasso" that is re-sellable.

  • bwd

    editorial mistake: this is a habitat for cats.

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    They should have called it the Facebook House. A true testimony to the sharing impulse of today's youth ;)

    • dhamphir

      exactly

  • dasha

    Love how most people are concerned about having sex in this building… I think it would be rather thrilling… like having a sneaky one in the public toilets or in a park… the thrill of being caught red handed is half the fun! maybe the architect and the clients are thrill seekers!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=790762728 Jan Maifeld

    have fun cleaning those windows come spring…

  • H-J

    There's a double interview in Mark Magazine with both the architect and his structural engineer.

  • claude mallia

    silly thing called 'house'.
    certainly not a home! stupid-est thing i ve'ever seen, waste of land time and money.
    they cant even prick their nose! cummon!

  • rac

    The concept has lot of potential.. So also the sections and and furniture like stratification. The spatial organization almost works.. However, the concept is taken too far.. A bit too obsessed with making transparency, making-a-point / looks-good-in-pictures / installation architecture than a livable house. Cant judge it without client brief though..

  • Christopher

    Hah… It is kind of sad to see this thread dominated by engineers with no imagination what so ever!
    This project is amazing, and should be seen as an experiment put in to physical form, rather than matching it with the common family house.
    What does it matter if the house doesnt match the recent U-values, when Sou Fujimoto challenges and developes the very boundaries of human relationship.
    For those who dislikes, go to engineering.com and get a hard-on over the latest highefficient insulation.

    • psy

      The issue is not about Art VS Engineering, but "what is Art" or "how Architecture works in a society" are the questions that should be asked first.

    • http://cargocollective.com/arcalign ArcAlign

      Had a quick look for that sooper dooper insulation but to no avail. Any chance of a link?

  • Remmert Koolhaas

    99.9% of the people who visit this site will never have the opportunity to pull this level of architecture off. It is archi-masturbation that is now a cottage industry within the profession. As long as you can find a rich client to build it…get it photographed and smother the internet with your brilliance…publishing offers, teaching positions, and perhaps seats at symposiums will follow.

    In the end though, it is just a building that is important only to itself and the people who created it. People need to quit living by the existence of others via an internet connection.

    The internet is a boring place…turn off the computer, put down the phone…and go out into the physical world and (re)claim your existence.

    • markus

      Please you first. Get off the computer because your comment is nonsense. Fujimoto is already famous. He does very few residential houses and these people are not rich. Look at the size of the land / house. If you knew anything about the Japanese market, prices climate etc. you wouldn’t have commented as you did. Houses are very cheap to build in Japan because they are considered temporary.

  • Alan

    Christopher, people expressing concerns over this project is natural. As architects, we are concerned with giving clients a place that is comfortable and enjoyable to live in ,,as well as beautiful. While everyones definition of beauty is subjective, basic elements of domestic life appear to have been neglected here: it's pretty clear the concept has taken over the project.

    • H-J

      Maybe your basic elements of domestic life differ from the clients of this project, why make such assumptions? Japan has a totally different approach to domestic life if you hadn't noticed…

  • malaz

    first of all, the building is intriguing,architecturally and structurally, and it successed in making people talk about it. and btw why everyone assume that everyone else prefere to have sex in a closed room,the question is not wether where they will be having sex, the questin is whether you want to watch

    them doing that!!!

  • http://www.studioampluso.com [AM]+O

    that's a safe society…!

  • Billiam

    Looks like a set from a Jacques Tati film.

  • santiago

    I’ll be in Tokyo next week, anyone knows if it’s possible to visit this house?

  • http://www.lyndemdesigns.com donnavk

    i can only imagine

  • Marklar

    You almost expect a huge kid to plop down in front of it, and play with the Barbies inside.

  • humpyken

    Just had a lecture by Sou Fujimoto in Ghent, Belgium, and he said it is too open for him as well. But the owners really liked the idea of having a open space, cause they live in a very strolling way, using 1 space in many ways, depending on their needs and wishes. But Fujimoto added that the owner are also making curtains for the house, which are small pieces of art, which interact with the floating space of the tables in a very interesting way by not putting them just in front of the windows, but leaving a gap which gives the space new dimensions. He was really enthusiastic about this!

    • DKTKY

      The curtains are regular white Japanese curtains from Muji. I just went to see it the other day.

    • leroy elroy

      With curtains gently blowing within the boxy static structures it will look great on a lazy summer day.

  • http://futurespace.com.au angela ferguson

    i love the japanese – totally crazy and 'out there' – and i love that their councils actually approve this kookiness!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003801612675 Cruz Maricor

    Looks like a series of tables on top of each other.. If it's functional, no problem, it serves it purpose.. otherwise, it's just a bunch of crap.

  • J. Carrette

    I love new ideas. Here's an observation I haven't read about: COLOR. I visit a prison where the inmates are all dressed in white- all the time. When we visit them wearing colorful clothes, the inmates comment that they are starved for color in their lives. Another comment: ELDERLY PEOPLE. A lift or elevator might need to be added for the house to be used by all age groups. (I'm an old man!) I would like to see comments of people who have lived in the house for 6 months. Congratulations!