a+u Architecture and Urbanism Magazine

Shotaro Suga Tree House

The Tree House sits at the end of a hilly residential neighborhood, with verdant slopes on its southern side. Based on the client’s request to build a home with a space for musical performance, the wooden house was designed to be enveloped in the sounds of local Yoshino cedar (Cryptomeria japonica), which is found in both the surrounding homes and mountains.

The two-story building takes the shape of a hexagon on plan with one triangular end cut off to form an opening, following the contours of the property.

From its center, wooden Rahmen frame trusses radiate every thirty degrees, forming a polyhedron together with the thirty-degree-sloped triangular roof. These frames are connected to the roof joists and columns by inserting two truss webbed members, coming together at two different slopes; the twelve joists are tied together by steel compression rings at the top.

The thrust (the outward horizontal force that works to open up from the support points of the sloping roof frame) is held by the second story floor, with the 10-meter length spanned by 12 x 18 cm cedar members. In addition, by dispensing with the internal earthquake-proofing wall by bearing horizontal forces with the exterior wall, a practical and unobstructed domed space was made possible, which is supported by the wooden frame.

The central music room is surrounded by the entrance, living, dining and kitchen spaces, with the bathroom in the rear, all under an open ceiling. The wooden frame is formed by an asymmetrical three-hinged Rahmen structure with compression rings, using naturally cured local Yoshino cedar. The building is topped by a hexagonal thirty-degree sloped roof, which is Galvalume steel paneling along with the exterior wall; and the entrance is below the large opening in the roof.