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The high life

When Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori is sitting in his treehouse, he feels like a space traveler from another planet 'taking a peek inside our world'. The main reason for this is that Takasugi-an ('an overly tall hermitage') is six meters off the ground and balanced on two tree trunks. From way up high he towers over all of his neighbors in Chino, Nagano Prefecture, and uses it as an escape from the world around him.

The high life

'When the house was completed and the scaffolding came off, I myself was kind of taken aback by the height,' says the architect, who is known for his avante-garde designs (another hut is featured above right). The treehouse, which sways in the wind, is made out of plywood and copper, and its interior is that of a minimalist teahouse (white walls, tatami mats). For those who suffer from vertigo, it may be good news to hear that the tree trunks are buried 1.5m in the ground, and set in concrete, so there's not much chance of Fujimori toppling to a shrubby demise. Unless there are beavers around… RM

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