The Japanese architecture practice founded by Akihisa Hirata designed a multi-story residential complex, Tree-Ness House, in the metropolitan area of Toshima-ku, Tokyo, with the purpose of exploring the possibilities of “nature-like architecture”, creating an organic layering system that refutes traditional layered architecture.



Challenged with a narrow plot space, the team decided to use box shaped living quarters, creating a Jenga tower block. The boxes at the core contain living areas like bedrooms and bathrooms, while exterior boxes have been turned into terraces. Greenery has been planted in the voids between blocks, resulting in what the team refers to as “3D gardens” around the perimeter of the building. In comparison to traditional housing designs, Tree-Ness House is a more organic, intertwined layering system which hopes to bring its occupants and nature closer together. Much like the way a tree’s branches and leaves create interesting structures from the root up, the design of Tree-Ness House creates a labyrinthian space where nature and modern living converge.


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All images © Vincent Hecht

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