Dubbed the ‘Cherry Blossom’ house by its designers, this home is anything but a delicate tree with blooming branches (though arguably akin to the blossom itself, in a highly abstract way) … perhaps it would have been more aptly titled ‘An Ultramodern Tree House’? Or maybe this author is simply missing the obvious poetry.
However, like its namesake, this curiously aloof structure by a.l.x. does start with a thick impermeable trunk and expand outward with each successive story, culminating in an open third level lofted high above the ground.
Its white-painted exterior walls do also reflect at least a little of its inspiration – two cherry trees sited near the lot, though much more of a comparison would be a stretch.
Like a traditional treehouse, the experience is all about elevation – at street level, there is not much to see … apartment buildings crowd the corner property on two sides. Up above, however, there are views to be had, as well as privacy away from the sidewalk.
“The house faces a park with two magnificent cherry trees opposite the north front road. What impressed me was that the ground level comfort was not so high, but I could expect the environment to dramatically improve from a certain height. Of course, two cherry trees play a big role in that. Therefore, I proposed a way of living that can be called tree life, focusing on the relationship with cherry blossoms. In addition, in order to make the relationship with the cherry blossoms as close as possible, the building is looking at the cherry blossoms in front by swinging the volume on the axis of the lower floor. The deviation caused by this contributes to the lighting of the lower floor as the top light. The reverse set-back configuration, in which this volume decays from the top, resembles two cherry trees that grow vertically with their leaves widened in search of light. The light and comfort, and the volume floating in the air in search of facing cherry trees, show the architecture as if it were another tree.”