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MORIYUKI OCHIAI ARCHITECTS

- Waterscape / Memory of Spring -

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The following renovation project aimed to transform a botanical garden located near Lake Ashi in the Hakone area, into a museum / a multi-purpose space.

The site is surrounded by a rich natural environment centering around a lake (Lake Ashi) and a mountain (Mt. Hakone). A large banyan tree, a tree emblematic of the botanical garden, used to stand at the centre of the glass dome serving as the entrance to the existing building. In this environment, precipitation(moisture) from the area would percolate through the site's soil and collect around the roots , thus creating a natural spring filled with pristine waters.
For the purpose of the museum renovation project, we were tasked with designing a space inside this entrance that could accommodate a kitchen, a dining space, and a stage for temporary exhibitions and performances, such as concerts and plays.

We envisioned a place that would adapt to the museum's needs by enabling a variety of activities.
First, we poured new concrete over the entire floor and created an octagonal amphitheater at the center of the entrance dome where the banyan tree used to be. A transparent resin was then spread at the bottom of the amphitheater floor to form a spring filled with the profound serenity and mystery surrounding water by acknowledging the memory of the botanical garden's naturally occurring body of water, as well as the Hakone landmark that is Lake Ashi.

The octagonal amphitheater functions as a multi-purpose venue that can be used as seating for dinning, as a central performance area surrounded by tiered seating for concerts or plays, or as a display area for a temporary exhibition. We considered that layering the ever-changing image of the venue's daily configurations over the shimmering movement and changing appearance of water filled with memories would be the best approach for this location.

In the same way that a lake is the accumulation of water droplets brought from various water sources, the transparent resin floor was flooded with elegant and lively elements using different reflective materials, such as mirrors, pieces of glass and fragments of metal, to produce a variety of light shining off the water surface.
Just as changes occur in the flow of water when one stream meets another, the flow of materials blend and interact with each other as individual bundles of light gain momentum and send beautiful ripples travelling across the surface.
The changes created by these reflective materials confer abundant expressivity to the light which glows with the organic vitality of water, thus deepening its poetry while imparting beauty and mystery to the memory of water.

Like the surface of a lake that mirrors the evolving landscape, the changes in natural light, such as that from the morning or evening sun, the seasonal variations in the color of the trees, such as the fresh green leaves of spring or the red autumn leaves, all come together in a signature gradation that spreads throughout the newly built concrete and transparent resin surfaces like a wave of color filled with lively movement.
Furthermore, we applied vivid colors, such as purple and light blue to the steel frame(column and beam) and concrete parts of the dome walls, as if the vibrant colors contained in the lake surface were splashed onto its surroundings, to lend the gloss and freshness of water to the entire space.

The brown walls of the kitchen booth are covered with wood plates shaped like dancing shards of light from the spring. Moreover, the rough grain motif of each of the plates can be perceived as the flow of a waterfall, thus infusing the space with the vitality produced by the resonance between the energy of water, and the trees found in the surrounding mountains.

By bringing unity to the space and reflecting minute changes in its natural surroundings, this spring of memories spreads the image of water to the entire landscape and creates an environment where one can experience the wonder and mystery of natural phenomena while enhancing the fun and joy derived from human activities.
As the building undergoes a transformation from botanical garden to museum, the world ushered by the memory of the spring becomes engraved in our hearts along with the sparkle of flowing water, and its narrative is spun into the future.


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箱根芦ノ湖ほど近く立つ植物園を、工芸品を展示する美術館/多目的スペースへとリノベーションするプロジェクト。

敷地周辺には、湖(芦ノ湖)と山(箱根山)を中心とする豊かな自然環境が広がっている。既存建物のエントランスにあたるドーム空間の中心には、植物園の象徴であったガジュマルの大木が存在し、降雨の後には敷地周辺の土に染み込んだ水分が大木の根本に集まり、泉が出現しているような環境であった。
美術館にリノベーションするにあたり、エントランス空間には、企画展示、音楽会や演劇などの舞台公演、厨房、飲食スペースに対応する場が求められていた。

そこで、美術館の活動に柔軟に対応し、様々な活動をも誘発するような場所ができれば良いと考えた。
床全体に新たにコンクリートを打設し、ガジュマルが存在したドームの中心に八角形状の階段広場を設け、最下部には、植物園の泉の記憶と箱根の名所である芦ノ湖の水面を意識した、深い静けさと神秘を湛える泉のような透明樹脂の床を広げた。

階段広場は、飲食に必要な座席、音楽会や演劇などの公演では客席や舞台として、企画展示では展示台に利用され、多目的な場として機能する。記憶を孕む泉の揺らめく動きや変化の様相と、そこを中心とした日々変化する多目的な使われ方の、移ろいゆく変化のイメージの重層が、この場所に相応しいと考えた。

透明樹脂の床は、泉や湖が様々な水源からもたらされた水滴の集積で成り立っているように、水面で輝く多様な光のような鏡、ガラス、金属片など異なる反射素材を用い、優雅で官能的な要素で溢れさせた。素材の変化が生み出す豊かな表情は、有機的な生のあるもののように輝き、泉の記憶に美や神秘性を与え詩情を深めている。

全体の床の色彩は、変化する風景を写し出す湖面のように、朝日や夕暮れなどの一日の自然光の変化や、新緑の緑、秋の紅葉など季節による木々の色の変化を意識した、躍動感溢れるグラデーション状の色彩を展開させた。
ドーム空間の壁面は、湖水面が孕む豊かな色彩が周囲に拡張するように、鉄骨部分やコンクリート部分に紫、水色などが鮮やかに着色され、空間に水の艶やかさと瑞々しさを与えている。
茶色の厨房棟は、水盤の輝きの破片が舞うような形状の板が覆い、一つひとつに荒々しい木目が滝のように流れ、水のエネルギーと周囲の山の木々が共鳴したような生命力を放つ。

記憶の泉が空間を統合し、移ろいゆく自然の変化を繊細に感知する全体風景は、自然現象の驚きと神秘を感じさせ、人々の活動の楽しさと喜びを拡大する環境を創出する。植物園から美術館へと、泉の記憶に誘われる世界が水盤の輝きと共に心に刻まれ、物語が未来へと紡がれていく。

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category : museum / multi-purpose space
location : japan
date : 2016
design team : Moriyuki Ochiai, Wakana Sujishi, Jillian Lei, Charlotte Jacob, Florentina Carrier, Marie Uno,Marina Masuda
construtor : Ueno Construction
special paint : Osamu Yamaguchi
photo: Takumi Ota (www.phota.jp)

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