Looking like a prop from a Tim Burton film, the little structure lives up to its name: Beetle’s House. It stands on four slightly off-kilter legs presenting its charred pine wood exterior, like the protective shell of an insect, and seems as if it could get up and walk away at any moment.
Artist Terunobu Fujimori created the tiny building for the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of the exhibition “1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces”. Fujimori, who didn’t even begin designing buildings until the age of 44, explains that burning the outer layers of the wood makes it naturally waterproof and pest-proof. The whimsical interior of the tea house features minimal furnishings and artistically arranged pieces of charred wood on the walls and ceiling.
“The recurring theme which I play with in my work is the relationship with the natural world and what human beings have created. I go about this by using natural materials, such as trees and soil in the building of my homes and also by using plants within the buildings.”
Fujimori designed another very similar treehouse in Japan, featured in the video below.
“The focus of my work relates back to architecture before civilization. How people originally lived, in their natural environment, which is a key subject of my architectural works… I want to create a space that we can enjoy away from our everyday lives, a space with a small fire where people can enjoy tea.”