Ever wondered what birds do in the privacy of their own homes? OK, so perhaps most of us haven’t, but if this question has planted the seed of curiosity in your mind then there is no reason to panic! Japanese design studio Nendo have created the Bird Apartment, a treehouse which offers visitors a unique perspective on the lives of birds. So, if you ever fancied seeing how birds chill out after a busy day of flying around and tweeting their little hearts out, then head over to Japan and take a look for yourself!

The treehouse is located in the Momofuku Ando nature centre in Komoro, in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture. The design takes bird watching to a whole new level, turning humans into hard-core bird-voyeurs… but not in the seedy sense of the word. In fact, Nendo’s treehouse offers a much more intimate experience of the avian world thanks to its unique design concept. Traditionally, birdwatchers – aided by their telelenses or binoculars – had to hide in sheds or disguise themselves in bushes to hope to catch a gimps of wildlife. On the contrary, Nendo offers a very different experience. In the design, both humans and birds share the same space, divided only by a partition wall. The wall features 78 different spy holes, allowing human visitors to discretely look into the various bird houses on the other side and spy on their unsuspecting feathered friends.


[Source: Daici Ano]
[Source: Daici Ano]
[Source: Masaya Yoshimura]
[Source: Masaya Yoshimura]
The two main facades of the birdhouse showcasing the circular entrances for birds (left) and humans (right). [Source: Masaya Yoshimura]
The two main facades of the birdhouse showcasing the circular entrances for birds (left) and humans (right). [Source: Masaya Yoshimura]
[Source: Daici Ano]
[Source: Daici Ano]
Conceptual Sketch [Source: Nendo]
Conceptual Sketch [Source: Nendo]
Peep-holes and the circular visitor's entrance. [Source: Daici Ano]
Peep-holes and the circular visitor’s entrance. [Source: Daici Ano]
Peep-holes allow the visitors to see inside the bird's homes. [Source: Daici Ano]
Peep-holes allow the visitors to see inside the bird’s homes. [Source: Daici Ano]
[Source: Masaya Yoshimura]
[Source: Masaya Yoshimura]
Conceptual Sketch [Source: Nendo]
Conceptual Sketch [Source: Nendo]


The tree house consists of a small pitched-roofed, white-washed design with two very distinctive sides: one for humans and the other for birds. The latter consists of 78 individual white-washed, pitched-roofed birdhouses of different sizes joined together to form the facade and give the project its distinctive look. The individual bird houses can be seen as a smaller version of the treehouse. Both birds and humans enter their respective spaces through circular holes; the humans – unable to fly (yet) – have to rely on a ladder. We notice distinctive similarities between the bird houses and the human space. In fact, the humans themselves become like big birds when in the treehouse.

We love this design. It is minimal, beautiful, traditional yet modern, stylish and extremely sweet all at the same time.


[Source: Daici Ano]
[Source: Daici Ano]
[Source: Daici Ano]
[Source: Daici Ano]
[Source: Masaya Yoshimura]
[Source: Masaya Yoshimura]


About the Designer:  Nendo was founded in 2002 by its Chief Designer Oki Sato. Mr Sato was born in 1977 in Toronto, Canda. He received his M.Arch from Waseda University, Tokyo, the same year as he founded Nendo. Oki Sato has received numerous prestigious awards for his brilliant designs. He was chosen by Newsweek magazine as one of ‘The 100 Most Respected Japanese’ and won many ‘Designer of the Year’ awards from major magazines which include Wallpaper*, ELLE and DECO. His activity in the design world has not been limited to any one area, spanning from graphic design to product design, furniture design, interiors and architecture. Nendo’s work can be found in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as Museedes Art decorations and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.


Oki Sato, founder of Japanese award winning design studio Nendo. [Source: Nando]
Oki Sato, founder of Japanese award winning design studio Nendo. [Source: Nando]