Since the zenith of industrial the industrial revolution, the world’s landscape has drastically changed. Once, thoroughly thought buildings, later, mass production of boxy residential buildings. This resulted in massive concrete jungles, all connected to the main economic harbours, subjugating nature. Then, a new concept has emerged. Vertical gardens. The perfect symbiosis between concrete and organic material. This residential project we’re presenting you today is located in the Otsuka district, Tokyo, and it’s owned by a gallerist named Taka Ishii. This vertical garden home proves that it’s more than possible to bring some nature fuzz to our concrete filled lives.
Ishii did not have specific requests for the design, but Hirata took into account his dual nature. On one side, a man who loves outdoor activities, Ishii is an avid surfer; on the other, the art enthusiast is a person who spends much of his time inside a minimalist gallery. Tree-ness house opens up the “white box” that Ishii works in and invites nature indoors, as plants are strategically placed on terraces and openings in the building. As an architectural concept, Tree-ness house is a nod to the vertical forests of Stefano Boeri, scaled back to balance between natural and manmade elements.
Hirata views the work as a tree sprouting up, its beauty coming from the sum of its parts rather than individual details. “If you compare the building to a single tree, it is not itself beautiful—moss and mushrooms grow on the tree, insects, squirrels, and birds fly, and such things come together as a whole,” the architect shares. “Through this architecture, I am aiming to create the richness of a tree. This house is the first piece of architecture that executed this vision. First, lay the boxes and make a single structure, the fold-shaped openings are attached to it and the plants are integrated.”
The ground level features a gallery managed by one of Ishii’s employees, while the remaining levels serve as a residence. The concept was first developed in 2009, with the building originally meant to span eight levels. After the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, the project was momentarily stopped and redesigned at a smaller height due to new earthquake safety measures.
Tree-ness house by Japanese architect Akihisa Hirata makes innovative use of a deep, narrow lot in Tokyo.
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