High-Hanging Tea House Offers Suspended Getaway


Flying Mud Boat, a tea house that seems to hover in mid-air, is another surreal creation by Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori (images by Kazumasa Onishi). The tiny home is suspended from tension cables strung between two wooden supports, and can only be accessed by ladder.

Flying Mud Boat consists of a bowl-shaped bottom half made of mud plaster and roof tiles with edges that curl up slightly, which come together to produce an effect of an object that might have grown from a tree or been created by insects.

The handmade, imperfect qualities of the tea house give it a quirky character that fits right in with Fujimori’s previous structures, which include shacks on stilts, grass-roofed pyramid-shaped structures, and spherical tree houses.  Fujimori’s meticulously detailed architecture is inspired by ancient Japanese traditions and a seamless marriage of nature and human habitation.

While the size of this little hut makes it impractical to actually live in, the concept of suspended homes is an intriguing one, especially for locales that are susceptible to earthquakes and tsunamis, like Japan. Structures that can sway and absorb shock have proven to survive the impact of a major quake much better than conventional buildings.

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