terunobu fujimori: flying mud boat
terunobu fujimori: flying mud boat terunobu fujimori: flying mud boat
nov 30, 2012

terunobu fujimori: flying mud boat

‘flying mud boat’ by terunobu fujimoriimage © kazumasa onishi




famed japanese architect terunobu fujimori is widely known for his peculiar designs, usually with a surreal animated movie feel with oddly organized spaces and rickety-looking structures that would be right at home in an older tim burton film. the ‘flying mud boat’ traveling tea house installation is the newest addition to his repertoire of fantastical designs. simply put, an acorn-like mass blown up to human scale is suspended on tension cables over four natural wooden posts anchored into the ground, and only accessible by ladder. the concept is in itself quite dynamic, capable of being installed in any environment and any climate, and although it is only big enough for a few people, the idea could be used as a case study for the practical application on a residential scale in places where being elevated off the ground would serve as an advantage.

suspended by the four postsimage © kazumasa onishi




the exterior is characterized into two halves, the top consisting of a shingle roof with curling edges as if made of aged leafs of paper, and the bottom a bowl of mud plaster painted a neutral earthen yellow. fujimoro is known to use organic raw materials in his buildings, as they offer excellent thermal properties, a natural visual aesthetic and are often times sustainably acquired and applied. the skeleton is made of a series of bi-directional laminated plywood rings, with an interior that has a plaster floor and carefully arranged cedar planks that create a comfortable contemporary ambiance.  lateral circular windows within square frames extend views out over the landscape and allow the space to be ventilated, a probable necessity after having the small stove on for a while.

view from underneathimage © kazumasa onishi

yellow-painted mud plaster exteriorimage © kazumasa onishi

ladder leads to the entranceimage © kazumasa onishi

view from the structureimage © kazumasa onishi

entranceimage © kazumasa onishi

interiorimage © kazumasa onishi

small stove for heating water and a wooden table and seats on a plaster floorimage © kazumasa onishi

image © kazumasa onishi

circular windows cut into square frames offering ventilationimage © kazumasa onishi

view out of the windowimage via

can be installed in any climate and locationimage via

  • just the term “flying mud boat” sent me into hysterics

    dbkii says:
  • In the nick of time — that was darn close.

    Mort D'Urban says:
  • This is so incredible and delicate. I love it! Congratulations on such a beautiful work.

    Jane Zimmerman says:
  • tim burton? really? more like Hayao Miyazaki… just sayin’…

    pomadora says:
  • Better a goofy hotel experience than a tea house…bunch of these in the trees and you got yourself a Tree Hobbit Hostel.

    Bedlamite23 says:
  • Hello! I f anyone who reads this knows the answer please please submit the answer! THANKYOU! I need to know how long it took him to build the Flying Mud Boat! BTW I love his work and the Flying Mud Boat is really cool

    Stars says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
491,075 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample