Form of Place Project

The site at Hayama contained strong historical and emotional context. When it came to designing the Landscape, it was crucial that these sentiments were not lost.  The concept became strongly focused on the recycling of materials and knowledge so to keep intact the Genus Loci of the site. To further elaborate the situation the Genus loci had to be represented in a show home at a different site for perspective clients. This meant that the materials were excavated from Hayama and used at the show home until the completion of the building. Notably the garden’s key themes lie in the transfer of sites, recycling of material and layering/repetition of sentiments throughout the building to express the sites eternal and ephemeral appeal. 

 Such ideals are underlying to Japanese gardens which have a very different approach to that of the West. The hot-humid climate of Japan advances the growth of plants. Meaning that excess planting seen in the West does not happen in Japan. Moreover Japan has strong religious associations with nature worshiping. Such beliefs herald the spirit of gods within trees and stones and how to maintain utmost beauty of individual items in the garden. Such beauty is often eternal and ephemeral. One of the remarkable elegance in Japanese gardens is the miniaturization of nature: it recreates the beauty of nature, compact and simple within a limited space. In principle this project draws inspiration from that of miniaturization.  It simplifies colours and shapes to keep acute beauty in tact with minimum maintenance. It determines essential qualities in materials; hence the audience may appreciate what is expressed not only from the standpoint of the landscape architect but also from their own perspective.

 Hayama was historically home of Baron Masao Takahashi, and is known for its planting of Tsubaki (Camellia japonica) and Juniper chinensis.  Therefore these plants were incorporated into the design to fit the natural setting of Hayama. Found materials on site such as large black rocks were also extensively used. Tsubaki was used as a symbol tree and its presence is central to the garden. Placed behind the wall (“Form of Place”) a window allows the viewer to see a portion of the tree, this view was later incorporated into an art piece (“The Window of Memory”) placed in the building so that residence may remember the time when they visited the show home.  The “Form of Place” uses the wooden materials, used in the show home, to imprint its concrete surface. The shapes and material qualities are then reused in the entrance hall, and again in internal spaces within the building. Therefore the gardens and art (“Form of Place” [Front of Wall], “Form of Place” [Back of Wall], “Form of Place” [Memory of Wall], “Memory of Window”, “Memory of Circle”, and “Memory of Place”) extend in a richly layered reoccurring memory.
Landscape Architect
Year of completion