The newly born senior residence is located in the scenic Kamogawa area, surrounded by the sea and mountains. In collaboration with SWA, a landscape design firm in California, we installed an outdoor sculpture as the essence of the landscape design. Here, we introduce you to this year-long project, where we incorporated art into the landscape design scheme of different “overlaps”: overlapping sea and mountains surrounding the site, the difference in ground-level overlapping visually and spatially, and overlapping of time assimilating into the surrounding environment.
Reserch and Insights
We started by analyzing the space where the monument would be placed.
The entrance, called the Welcome Court, is located at the center of an axis that connects the surrounding mountains and the sea. We decided that the essence of the art should reflect this axis, have a strong presence as an eye-catcher, and not interfere with the beauty of nature itself.
image: SWA Group
On the other hand, the main garden, which residents frequently visit, requires a centripetal shape that defines the center of the landscape. A three-dimensional feeling that makes the landscape picturesque from every angle, the art provides a sense of circulation. We went over the design through repeated dialogues with SWA, MFR, and the artist.
image: SWA Group
This is the model from the early stages.
The art “Fate,” placed in the welcome court, has a doughnut shape that encloses the surrounding mountains like a picture frame. To incorporate the “overlapping” of the landscape into the art, we carefully studied the overlapping surfaces created by the frame.
For the main garden sculpture “Circle,” a model was used to verify how it would look from each of the 360-degree angles.
The production process at the atelier.
Fabric is stretched around the circular frame welded midair, whereafter layers of FRP (resin) are applied and scraped hundreds of times. The form created thanks to the characteristics of the freely deformable fabric material is then transformed into a thick structure. This smoothness that insinuates movement is only possible with fabric.
Developing Innovative Fabrication Strategy
Due to the characteristic of the site that is exposed to sea breezes, a well-balanced installation method and reinforcement in terms of design and structure was required. To verify using structural calculations, we scanned the model in 3D and created a digital model in our studio using Rhinoceros. Bending and shear stresses of the joints were calculated to study the structure’s ability to withstand strong winds.
Playing with Shadows
One crucial element in this project is lighting. As the supervisor of the lighting design, ICA participated in the planning process. The first step was to roughly determine the quantity, position, and angle of the lighting fixtures. This advanced verification process was only possible using the model and 3D model.
We made a mock-up of the stone pedestal and reproduced the nighttime environment to determine the mounting angle of the art and the position of the lighting fixtures. This allowed us to make adjustments to the swing angle using the actual object. We conducted detailed experiments to check the view from the parking lot, the main approach and the vestibule, and the light-shadow mood of the artwork created by the lighting.
Myth of Lighting
The silhouette of a doughnut emerges at the blue moment. During the day, it is like a picture frame of the mountains behind it, but at night, the background disappears and it resembles a crescent moon in the night sky. The art in the main garden is connected to the interior hall by light, giving visual continuity to the landscape and architecture.
Upon looking back on this project, we realize the importance of communicating the values of beauty. To express and communicate through art the context of “spatial and temporal overlap” that is at the root of landscape design: the overlap with the natural environment, the overlap of time, and the overlap between people. These are beautiful and truly valuable things that we take for granted in our daily lives and fail to notice. We hope that our art will gently speak to these values and become a presence embraced by the residents.
Projects > Park Wellstate Kamogawa