ryo yamada builds nakanosawagawa dwelling as tree house retreat ryo yamada builds nakanosawagawa dwelling as tree house retreat
feb 23, 2015

ryo yamada builds nakanosawagawa dwelling as tree house retreat

ryo yamada builds nakanosawagawa dwelling as tree house retreat
images courtesy of ryo yamada




ryo yamada’s ‘nakanosawagawa house’ stands in the snow covered land of sapporo-city, japan. seemingly a traditional japanese dwelling from the outside, the inside is far from ordinary. yamada intentionally left parts of the interior unfinished so that as the seasons change, as well as the families who live there, so does the home.


the ever-evolving space is distinctly defined by the top, tree house floor. designed specifically for the addition of any number of tree houses, yamada believes they are a vital part of the home, as well as a good way to cope with the location’s long, harsh winters. the structure is made of pine and built to traditional japanese architecture standards of: ‘ichi-ken’, ‘sansun-gobu’, and ‘kyu-shaku’. small walkways transport inhabitants to and from various parts of the home, and ladders reach up to the temporary tree houses above.

tree houses can be built inside the home utilizing pillars and beams




as the seasons change, tree houses can be moved to different areas, harmoniously blending with the outside environment. on the ground floor, a passage links the southern entrance to the forest on the north side of the home, further rooting it to the surrounding area. it is the dream of yamada personally, and of his home, to stay incomplete.

detail of bridge and steel railings 

the inside look of the house transforms by adding or removing the tree houses 

a home where climbing the walls is the right thing to do

yamada wishes for the home to remain incomplete so that it can change as his family does

tree houses sit on the upper floor of the home

(left) a passage links the southern entrance to the forest on the north side of the home
(right) exterior of the nakanosawagawa house

average snow accumulation reaches 5 meters at the site

the home is built in sapporo-city, on the island hokkaido in northern japan

floor plans  


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