Artificial landscape poetry
Landscape Site remediation Hyper-dense reforestation The beauty of artificial landscapes
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)