The project, Cloud, designed by SABAOARCH, responds to the unique needs of the client with the creation of a uniquely shaped room. This room is similar to the clouds which float in the sky and is supported by three trunks which branch off from one tree standing on a hill. In order to make the boundary loose, but still maintaining architectural intensity and a feeling of a substance for the place where the natural environment touches primitive architecture, a global image like a vague floating cloud was imagined. More images and architects’ description after the break.
While three rooms for “standing, sitting down and sleeping” are connected, and correspond to the spaces between each trunk, the outline consists of three curves which melt into the tree shape. It is an imagining where the boundary between nature and architecture melts and phenomenizes, the tree growing with time and metamorphosing into a room. We just re-found a representation of a primitive comfortable room in the trees, which is a gentle shelter for the living things.
Supporting tree is a blue Japanese oak ( a living tree) and the floor is yellow cedar, Ulin (Iron wood). The structure rocks gently when a wind blows. The deck floor which naturally drains and allows light to leak in through slits. The handrails are galvanized steel and the tree itself, Leaves which interrupt partially break up the view. Natural ventilation is created by air flow through the leaves and their shading effect. The handrail is the shape of the perimeter and forms a minimum boundary. Leaf shelter interrupts strong sunlight and protects against light rain. The roof is a home for birds and insects and a canopy from which acorns fall. Furniture which assures modern comfort.
The structure of floor framing was made into a lattice structure (Reciprocal Frame Structure) with a grid which can be adjusted to accommodate the indefinite position of trees and their girth, The grid ends are connected to a steel plate like a hoop, which ties the whole structure together. Timber joints are made using plated fittings, bolts, and drift pins of stainless steel. The room is attached to the tree using a stainless steel penetration bolt of 40mm diameter. This keeps the bolting damage to the formative layer of trees to a minimum.
The grid lattice is racked to form diamond voids. The decking running across the these diamonds forms triangles thus confirming great in-plane stiffness to the grid.
Architects: SABAOARCH/Masanori Kuwabara
Location: Kanagawa, Japan
Structure Design: Structured Environment /Alan Burden, Hiroaki Inukai
Construction: Woodwork etc.: All Man
Metal Construction: Eagle Metal
Structure: Living tree, wood, steel
Area: 9 m2
Date: October 2011