Tokyo-based architecture firm Yuko Nagayama & Associates has constructed a series of transparent teardrop-shaped tents within a white birch forest in Hokuto City in Japan.
The size, height, and position of the tents were determined by 3D scans of the natural environment, such as the position of the trees, the direction of the branches, and the spread of the leaves. In this way, the surrounding greenery is reflected not only on the surface of the tents, but also in their design.
The architects wanted their tents to enhance and reflect the surrounding trees while also maintaining their own dramatic presence. Standing more than 30 feet high, each of the three inflatable tents faces a different direction, its pointed tip visible from a distance. For those inside the tents, the not-quite-transparent material blurs the forest without blocking it out, lending the experience a surreal, dreamlike effect. The pointed shape encourages visitors to look straight up at the canopy and the sky.
Although Yuko Nagayama & Associates had the option of setting up the tents in an empty meadow, the team chose the dense forest as the project site. Each of the tents has a round shape with a pointed top, just like a teardrop or a traditional Okiagari Koboshi Japanese doll.
Each of the three tents has a different function. One is for sleeping, one is for gathering, and one is for solitary study or contemplation. Visitors were invited to stay in them overnight, their sleeping bags providing their only cover in a place where privacy is hard to come by.