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Garden Tree House / Hironaka Ogawa & Associates

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano

From the architect. This is an extension project on a thirty-five year-old house for a daughter and her husband. 

Azelkova tree and a Camphor tree stood on the site since the time the main house was build thirty-five years ago.  Removing these trees was one of the design requirements because the new additional building could not be built if these trees remained.  When I received the offer for the project, I thought of various designs before I visited the site for the first time.  However, all my thoughts were blown away as soon as I saw the site in person.

© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano

The two trees stood there quite strongly. I listen to the stories in detail; the daughter has memories of climbing these trees when she was little.

These trees looked over the family for thirty-five years.  They colored the gardenand grew up with the family.  Therefore, utilizing these trees and creating a new place for the client became the main theme for the design.

© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano

In detail, I cut thetwo trees with their branches intact.  Then I reduced the water content by smoking and drying them for two weeks.  Thereafter, I placed the trees where they used to stand and used them as main structural columns in the center of the living room, dining room, and kitchen.

© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano

In order to mimic the way the trees used to stand, I sunk the building addition 70 centimeters down in the ground.  I kept the height of the addition lower than the main house while still maintaining 4 meter ceiling height.

© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano

By the way, the smoking and drying process was done at a kiln within Kagawa prefecture.  These two trees returned to the site without ever leaving the prefecture.

The client asked a Shinto priest at the nearby shrine to remove evil when the trees were cut.  Nobody would go that far without a love and attachment to these trees.

© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano

When this house is demolished and another new building constructed by a descendant of the client hundreds of years from now, surely these two trees will be reused in some kind of form. 

Isometric
Isometric
Cite:"Garden Tree House / Hironaka Ogawa & Associates" 27 Feb 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/336999/garden-tree-house-hironaka-ogawa-associates/>