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Atelier Kukka's House U is designed to frame a nearby cherry tree in Tokyo

Red cedar provides a golden-hued exterior for this small gabled house, designed by local studio Atelier Kukka for a Tokyo street featuring a Japanese cherry tree. The 67-square-metre House U provides a home for a couple in their 40s. Their brief to Atelier Kukka founder Maki Okubo was for a simple but impressive-looking building that frames views of the tree outside so that they can see it blossom. Her response was to clad the house in Japanese red cedar, creating a warm-toned exterior that contrasts with its monotone neighbours.

Because of the non-rectangular site, the facade tapers in at one corner. One section of the wall is punctured by a box-framed window that projects outward, while the other features a smaller window within an angular recess. These two openings allow the clients to look out at the tree's blossom, without compromising their privacy.