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Takasugi-an, which literally means “the teahouse [built] too high,” is more like a tree house than a teahouse. Fujimori says that his teahouse got higher and higher as he thought about the design of it for more than 2 years. To reach the room, one must first climb up a freestanding ladder propped up against one of the two, load-bearing chestnut trees. The tree were cut and removed from a nearby forest, and placed deep into the holes in the ground to withhold the weight. Shoes must be taken off on a landing halfway up, and after climbing another ladder on barefoot, one finally reaches the room itself.

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The renowned architectural historian Terunobu Fujimori observes that a teahouse is “the ultimate personal architecture.” Its extreme compactness, which at times would consist of only four and a half tatami mats (which is about 2.7 square metres of floor space each), makes it feel “more like a piece of clothing.”

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Project details
Project name: Takasugi-an
Description: A self-built teahouse
Category: recreation & sport
Design: Terunobu Fujimori
Building status: in use
Construction period: 2003-2004
Location: Chino, Japan
Coordinates: 35°59'44.5'' N, 138°9'32.4'' E
Tags: local resources, craftsmanship
Project ID: 11
Published: 22 March 2011
Last updated: 16 November 2011
(images have individual licenses)
CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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