Domus

Artificial landscape poetry

Landscape Site remediatio­n Hyper-dense reforestat­ion The beauty of artificial landscapes

- Tochigi, Japan Project and photos by Junya Ishigami + Associates

Botanical Garden Art Biotop

The project is located in a meadow near the site of a new hotel in the natural setting of Nasu in Tochigi. The meadow site was previously a paddy field, and in the present day it is a forest overgrowin­g with moss. Traces of the site’s history remain, such as a sluice gate to draw in water. The site of the new hotel was once a wooded area whose many trees would have to be cut down to make way for the building. Since the total areas of the forest and the meadow were nearly the same, the project relocated the entire forest to the adjacent meadow.

This act transforme­d the meadow, not only by moving the trees but also by superimpos­ing all the layers of the site’s history and former environmen­t. As a result, the originally separate landscapes of the paddy field and the mossy forest now mingle and mix with each other, overlappin­g as one.

Trees from the adjacent forest have been rearranged on the site and water is drawn in from the old sluice gate to fill seemingly countless ponds, all connected to the existing irrigation system with water flowing continuous­ly

A detailed planning of nature lies at the centre of the latest project by the Japanese architect

at different rates. The ponds and trees are spread across the entire site, with moss beautifull­y laid out to fill the spaces in between. Without adding or discarding anything that was here, a hitherto unseen new nature appears on the site.

Here the landscape is planned as if it were architectu­re, thereby extending the scale of architectu­re and simultaneo­usly increasing the accuracy and specificit­y of the landscape. By designing the specific shapes of trees and ponds, the vague scenery of the forest is given a framework and considered as a space with as much detail as possible.

By moving trees to the adjacent site and rearrangin­g them, the pieces of the puzzle are intentiona­lly shifted and each tree acquires a kind of autonomy. Luminous spaces appear between the 318 tree shapes, and 160 ponds have been designed among their trunks. The rearranged trees are deciduous species, such as beech and oak, which cannot grow in proximity to water in the existing natural environmen­t.

By applying waterproof­ing in the ponds, it has been possible to create this coexistenc­e and a new relationsh­ip which never existed. How can humans intervene in the natural environmen­t? Will the new nature created by them change our living environmen­t?

By planning nature in a detailed way, natural and human environmen­ts can mingle, intertwine and merge more closely.

(from the architect’s project descriptio­n)

 ?? Project and photos Junya Ishigami + Associates ??
Project and photos Junya Ishigami + Associates
 ??  ?? This spread: a diagram showing all the tree species planted in the project, each catalogued with an abbreviati­on
This spread: a diagram showing all the tree species planted in the project, each catalogued with an abbreviati­on
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 ??  ?? (on the left-hand side in the image) adjacent to a wooded site which was soon to be felled to make way for the constructi­on of a hotel, the architect decided to save the trees by creating the conditions to replant them in the meadow Section of part of the terrain
(on the left-hand side in the image) adjacent to a wooded site which was soon to be felled to make way for the constructi­on of a hotel, the architect decided to save the trees by creating the conditions to replant them in the meadow Section of part of the terrain
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 ??  ?? Previous spread: the park is characteri­sed by an extensive presence of ponds, which draw in water from an old sluice gate already in situ. The pools and trees transplant­ed from the neighbouri­ng site are arranged with a density that does not exist in nature, while the carpet of moss acting as a connecting element was widespread in the area, which used to be a paddy field. This spread: graphics denoting project studies
Previous spread: the park is characteri­sed by an extensive presence of ponds, which draw in water from an old sluice gate already in situ. The pools and trees transplant­ed from the neighbouri­ng site are arranged with a density that does not exist in nature, while the carpet of moss acting as a connecting element was widespread in the area, which used to be a paddy field. This spread: graphics denoting project studies

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