Many a house has claimed to take cues from trees, but this new seaside cafe by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma takes the arboreal inspiration a bit further, down to the very structural engineering that holds the whole thing up.
Just as trees have one strong trunk to support many smaller branches, the Coeda House (or “House of Small Branches” in Japanese) in Shizuoka, Japan, grows out from a central column of stacked cedar boards, reinforced with carbon fiber rods. The strength of this structure also eliminates the need for any columns on the edges, allowing unobstructed views out to the Pacific Ocean and beyond.
Seating surrounds the central structure, as well as on the covered deck under the low-slung roof. At night, the “tree” glows like something from Magic Kingdom.
This isn’t the first time Kuma has created a stunning design through a repetition of materials. There was also the yakitori bar covered in colorful ethernet cables, tea pavilion made of plastic blocks, restaurant of bamboo screens, and so on.