+node by
UID Architects


This cantilevered wooden house by Japanese studio UID Architects hovers ten metres above the forest floor and has a hole underneath to let trees grow up inside (+ slideshow).

+node by UID Architects

Named +node, the house in Hiroshima Prefecture was designed by UID Architects as an all-timber building that brings the surrounding woodland to its inhabitants.

+node by UID Architects

"The site is located at the node point of nature and human-made places," explained architect Keisuke Maeda. "I thought about a place for animals, plants and human beings."

+node by UID Architects

The main body of the building is a long rectangular box with one end anchored to the ground and the other sticking out into the air. A second volume slotted beneath the structure functions as both an extra floor and a lateral support.

+node by UID Architects

A glazed wall at the far end of the house focuses views out from the kitchen and dining room towards the woodland. The void in the floor is positioned just beyond, so trees can grow behind the walls without creating a hazard for residents.

+node by UID Architects

"[It] is like a kaleidoscope that reflects various regularly changing things," adds Maeda.

+node by UID Architects

An entranceway cuts diagonally across the building to create a small study at the front, while the middle section houses a living room that leads out to a rooftop terrace. Bedrooms and bathrooms can be found on the lower storey.

+node by UID Architects

The architects used cedar to clad the exterior walls, then lined the interior with plywood panels.

+node by UID Architects
Photograph by the architects

UID Architects have completed several houses with plants growing inside. Others include Machi Building, a renovated townhouse containing a mound of earth, and Nest, a house with holes in the walls and roof. See more architecture by UID Architects »

+node by UID Architects
Photograph by the architects

Other cantilevered houses to feature on Dezeen include an isolated hilltop house in Australia and a periscope-like wooden house in Norway. See more cantilevered buildings »

+node by UID Architects
Photograph by the architects

Photography is by Hiroshi Ueda, apart from where otherwise stated.

Here's more information from UID Architects:


On the south side of the site there is a rich forest where animals and plans reside and on the back north side where hilly land was developed into a residential area in a tiered platform.

+node by UID Architects
Exploded diagram - click for larger image

The site is located at the node point of nature and human-made places. There is a thicket spreading over the hill of over 10 metres level deference along the south side from the frontal road. Various creature's territory is layered from the land surface to the sky above trees. In this occasion, I thought about a place for animals, plants and human beings, in a scale closer to the environment of the rich sectional direction.

Thus, keeping the large site as it is, I thought to create an environment that is produced by manipulating a sense of distance from the flat area that comes in contact with the road to the forest located 25 metres away.

+node by UID Architects
Floor plans - click for larger image

Specifically, by placing 3.5 metres cubes similar to a wooden bird's house on the side just like a toy building block, we made a place that responds to a surrounding horizontal and vertical territory that connects the ground surface and the forest.

Gradually advancing from the approach to the south side and enabled by sceneries that is cut out in fragments in the east and the west direction, linear space in about 30 metres unfolds as a sky pass, keeping a gradual sense of distance with the surrounding environment. The space is connected to the 10 metres above forest.

+node by UID Architects
Concept sections

On the other hand, the cube that is buried in the underground slope becomes a space that reacts with the surface environmental territory such as sunlight filtering through thick trees, humidity and temperature. The bird's house that is connected the ground surface and the forest is like a kaleidoscope that reflects various regularly changing things. It is a place of a node that creates an interactive environment with natural animals and plants.

+node by UID Architects
Detailed section - click for larger image

Architects: UID architects – Keisuke Maeda
Consultants: Konishi Structural Engineers – Yasutaka Konishi, Takeshi Kaneko
General contractor: Home Co. Ltd.-Kakuta Hiroki, Katsufumi Ichikawa, Hitomi Sato
Structural system: steel structure
Used materials: cedar plate; exterior, cherry flooring (flooring), structural plywood (wall), wood protection paint (ceiling)

Location: Fukuyama-City, Hiroshima, Japan
Site area: 712.80 sqm
Built area: 116.27 sqm
Total floor area: 125.35 sqm
Date of completion: May 2012

  • Beautiful house. It is in such a lovely location too and so superbly crafted.

    I’d love to have a tree in my house.

  • Greenish

    Nice building. But why enclose the tree rather than just letting it grow next to the window? It seems like a moment of vanity and waste of materials in an otherwise cool project.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Unbelievable: a Japanese house with two bathrooms, and the occupants don’t have to traipse through the kitchen and living room to get to it!

    While I am a fan of wood products, the use of framing-grade plywood for interior finishes is a failure here. The exterior appears finished with timber, but the interior is begging for a finish over that base material.

    • Gimmeabreak

      In such a setting I would pick this finish over the typical white plaster that is so common in Japanese urban architecture.

    • Unemployed designer

      The shuttering ply that has been used sits uncomfortably next to the exterior cladding and internal flooring, especially when both can been seen alongside one another.

      In a different context this ply can have a pleasing aesthetic, but here it detracts and is dissapointing when the external look of the house creates a level of anticipation the interior fails to live up to.

      • Another unemployed designer

        It is strange that a higher grade of wood is used on the exterior than on the interior. The two types of wood are too similar, or not similar enough, depending on how you look at it. I would like it better if the interior and exterior had the same material throughout, or to be very distinct from each other (contrast).