House NA / Sou Fujimoto Architects

© Iwan Baan

You may remember Sou Fujimoto Architects radical House NA from this video we shared with you last November. Designed for a young couple in a quiet Tokyo neighborhood, the 914 square-foot transparent house contrasts the typical concrete block walls seen in most of Japan’s dense residential areas. Associated with the concept of living within a tree, the spacious interior is comprised of 21 individual floor plates, all situated at various heights, that satisfy the clients desire to live as nomads within their own home.

Continue after the break for more images and information on House NA.

© Iwan Baan

Described as “a unity of separation and coherence”, the house acts as both a single room and a collection of rooms. The loosely defined program and the individual floor plates create a setting for a range of activities that can take place at different scales. The house provides spaces of intimacy if two individuals choose to be close, while also accommodating for a group of guests by distributing people across the house.

Sou Fujimoto states, “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.”

Sections - Courtesy of

Ranging in size from 21 to 81 square-feet, each floor plate is linked by a variety of stairs and ladders, including short runs of fixed and movable steps. Stratifying floor plates in a furniture-like scale allows the structure to serve many types of functions, such as providing for circulation, seating and workings spaces.

© Iwan Baan

The short-spans allow for the thinness of the white steel frame. Complemented by the thin white-tinted birch flooring, many wonder where the utilities are hidden. Some floor plates are equipped with in-floor heating to help during the winter months, while strategically placed fenestration maximizes air flow and provides the only source of ventilation and cooling during summer.

The HVAC and plumbing equipment, as well as storage and lateral bracing are located in the thick, north-facing wall at the rear of the house. Additional lateral bracing is provided by a full-height bookshelf and lightweight concrete panels integrated within the side elevations.

Plans - Courtesy of Architects

Additionally, curtains were installed to provide temporary partitions that address the concern for privacy and separation.

© Iwan Baan

Sou Fujimoto states, “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.”

Architect: Sou Fujimoto Architects
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Site Area: 592 square-feet
Project Area: 914 square-feet
Project Year: October 2010
Photography: Iwan Baan

Follow this link to view more images of House NA!

© Iwan Baan

Reference: Sou Fujimoto Architects, Iwan Baan, Architectural Record, designboom

Cite: "House NA / Sou Fujimoto Architects" 30 Apr 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 01 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=230533>

31 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down +17

    Visually stunning, I know…
    However, I wonder what it feels like to live in. I mean daily lives physically…. noise, hot and cold, privacy…etc.
    Just curious.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +12

    Very intimate life

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +6

    I smiled immediately when I saw this, it certainly looks like a fun place to live. Heating and cooling don’t appear to have been high on the priority list, however.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I love this thing!

    but

    you live in it

    you deal with the visitor problem

  5. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    This house looks idiotic from an energy point of view.

    Are the glazing units insulated? Is there a low-e coating on the glass? Any shading devices? Any insulation on the on the roof?…

    This concept is headed to be a greenhouse in summer and a freezer in winter.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +1

      hmmm…. im no good in understanding this, since im still a student, maybe becoz the climate there is different? i dunno…. but ive read somewhere that the client loves this so much. even the architect itself says that he himself dont like that kind of open private…….

  6. Thumb up Thumb down +7

    Where the hell are they supposed to F**k?

  7. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    The concept and design is excellent for a modern tea house (茶室) in Tokyo to meet new friends for conversation at sunrise. Imagine a tea ceremony there.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It’s pretentious. It’s 1 to 1 scale model for taking pictures,creating controversy and then making names, rather than creating a living space with sense of responsibility.

    I’m curious if the architect himself would like to live in this house for some time.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +8

      Sou stated he could not live in this house. But if this is what the clients wanted, then what is the problem?

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        Architects are not professionals working only for the client’s desire. They should lead and direct people’s vision.

      • Thumb up Thumb down +2

        Architecture is a subjective matter, as long as the Architect and Client are happy about the project, then what’s wrong? Especially when this is a Residential project.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    Hi guys! Does anyone knows how to get to the exact location of the house? im a architecture student and Ill be in Tokyo for a week… i would love to take a look of the house!
    Thanks!!

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    what is life, what is privacy, what is a house.
    this could be an answer for Sou, being primitive.
    i respect his challenges.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I like this project beacuse. cevety moment one can make new kind of relations between room to room, room to out side, people to people. but sometimes people want to palce himself in a enclosed space, separted from the others.. other rooms and out side of rooms…I think..

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I like this project beacuse. cevety moment one can make new kind of relations between room to room, room to out side, people to people. but sometimes people want to palce himself in a enclosed space, separted from the others.. other rooms and out side of rooms. I think..

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