All photos by Koji Fujii for Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP
Architect Hiroshi Nakamura had always been intrigued by how some crows utilize found coat hangers as a structural element in their nests. With this idea in mind, a unique opportunity presented itself when treehouse builder Takashi Kobayashi contacted him with an unusual site for a tearoom: 10 meters above the ground in a 300-year-old cinnamomum camphora tree growing precariously on the side of a mountain that overlooks the ocean in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Using the coat hangers as a starting point he designed the Bird’s Nest Atami Tearoom using a variety of minimally invasive construction techniques meant to protect the integrity of the tree.
“Hangers are not only durable but also highly elastic, and they offer more hooks to connect than branches and hence are easier to assemble,” he shares. “Crows, flying deftly across the dichotomy of natural and artificial, are creating a functional and comfortable environment.” Thus the tearoom became a lightweight scaffold-type structure that works in harmony with the trees branches instead of being directly anchored to it. From Nakamura’s notes on the project:
For the foundation, we carefully inserted pier type foundations between the roots in order to avoid the use of concrete and large-scale excavation. Using the structure itself as scaffolding, we assembled it by avoiding the branches as birds create their nest, adding or taking out components based on structural analysis. We mortared the room interior to be like a swallow’s nest. The design leaves open the possibility for visitors to experience nest building by picking up branches from the mountain side and fitting them into walls inside.
The tearoom is part of the KAI Atami resort, and you can see more views both inside and out on the Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP website. Please take me with you. (via ARCHatlas)
Created by Japanese design brand D-Bros (previously) these carefully hand-crafted coffee/tea mugs made from Hasami porcelain are painted with a thin layer of reflective palladium that allows each cup to mirror the saucer it rests on. D-Bros created many different geometric designs, some of which are available over at Spoon & Tamago.
Founded in 1879 in Ishikawa, Japan, Kutani Choemon have been creating handmade and hand-painted pottery for the better part of 130 years, and while the history shows in the quality of their work, the subject matter is a bit more contemporary. Skateboarders, surfers, and drummers rendered in blue Kutani color glazes adorn a wide variety of their tableware and tea ceremony utensils, bringing a quirky and modern vibe to a traditionally conservative craft. You can see more over in the Kutani Choemon shop. (via Designers Go to Heaven)
To help reinforce their assertion that sugar is evil, the designers over at Hundred Million designed this wicked Sugar Skull Spoon. Cut from stainless steel, this anatomical serving utensil serves as a morbid reminder every time you get a little scoop happy. Though even if you’re not counting calories it still beats a regular spoon. Pick it up on Kickstarter for about $13. (via Cool Material, This Isn’t Happiness)
Update: The sugar skull spoon is now available in the Colossal Shop.
Artist Johnson Tsang (previously) has been posting an amazing series of process photos over on his blog that demonstrate how he makes many of his bizarre ceramic creations. One piece that really stood out is called a Painful Pot, which is a functional teapot being squeezed by a dragon, its head functioning as the spout. (via EPLOD)
I love these ceramic creature cups by design group Yumi-Yumi out of Brookyln. At the base of each mug rests an animal that’s slowly revealed as you consume your tasty beverage. Good to the last dripping octopus. (via etsy)