Toyo Ito,s Architecture Otaku Kyuyomura Tobu
Stayed for two days
世界の伊東豊雄 大田区休養村とうぶ ２泊してきました
I had arrived the complex after about 20 minutes,microbus ride from
Ueda Station,Nagano Super Express.Most of the visitors in the bus
were rather aged people.When the building had appeared into our
sight,someone immediately commentated,"It,s like a henhouse!" It was
a reasonable comment,as the building was somewhat a plant-like
setting,with its "folded plate structure"roof,open steel column,"so
slim", the dark grey"metal plated" exterior wall horizontally extended
and the upperside surface of the whole building was all glass walled、
so that the roof material"folded plate structure" could be seen
transparently.It looked so light and the roof seemed to float in the
scenery.And such a simple entrance equipped with the most simplest
eaves. Let us now confirm here for ourselves that although the whole
elements of the design appeals stunning to the ones well informed of
architecture,people in general recognize its image as a henhouse or a
plant.The archetype of the entirely new architecture today apparently
refers to lightness, slimness,transparency,non-authoritative
tone,frankness and coexistance. It has come so far from the previous
values such as the pressure,coercion,importance and massiveness as
stones. And so it became "the henhouse". I must say that it has more
or less relations to the coming of the age where the consumers became
the heroes on their own and that the authority have failed in taking
the leadership. And just here is also the new concept of the
architecture revealed as well as mentioning about the design. At the
front desk, the clerk tried to guide me taking out the plan."There is a
third floor stairway over there and if you come down you will arrive at
the second floor here. It is quite complicating. Sorry that your room is
so far away. We willtake you there." Let me try to explain about the
plan as a whole. The both ends of the boomelung shaped building lie
corresponding to the reclining slope and the inner side is facing west.
Facilities arranged on the upper side of the wing includes observation
bathrooms, rest space for the bathroom and European style guest
rooms.The middle space of the building is occupied by the front
desk,general office, kitchen space, dining rooms <large and small
restaurants>, and the athletic gymnasium.These facilities can be
approached from the hallway on the outer side of the boomelung
shaped building.The dining space and the athletic gymnasium <Ping-
Pong table is equipped> is bounded only by the polycarbonated board
that one can see through each section though there is a floor
difference.<restaurants on the upper floor> This transparency makes a
favorable impression making the restaurants cozy and
unaffected,though the waiters did not forget the bow ties.There is an
entrance for the junior high school students.
<Subentrance> It has a big opening on the garden side. From here
there will be an inner hallway following the big bathrooms, sunroom
where mini golf can be played and seminar rooms.
The Japanese guest rooms belong to the lower wing under the above
mentioned facilities and again the hallway here is on the outer side.
This curved and inclined hallway feels quite comfortable.
There is a big grassy garden enclosed by the boomelung shaped
complex where campfire is held.And a little stream flows at the end.
When you cross the bridge over the stream there lies a tennis court,a
gateball yard, and a soccer field.
Neighboring farms are cow farms for a long time.
On the upper side of the boomelung shape there are also two old
fashioned private houses <Minka> removed for lodging and a campsite.
To feel the place <sense of place>
When you are in each of the guest rooms, it is the inner side of the
oval shape and since the whole building is curved,you can well see the
end of the building. It is obvious that the building is long.<inner side
300m, outer side 360m> You will have the impression of looking out
from the train window just when it is making a curve. The station
facilities of the Yamanote Line is about 100m in length that you can
imagine how long it is.
It is not likely to say that the building encloses the garden, but it is
as if trying to enclose as large space as possible following close to the
landform or a road. The curve and the enclosure is so large that one
feels there is no other previous example of this kind of enclosure.
From each of the guest rooms, the train like view of the building is
observed. It is to say that one can determine his place in the whole
building from this view from the window itself.
A famous architect once made a comment about this fact mentioning
on his own house. Just as one looks at his hands and his feet when he
is taking a rest, having a view of the part of his house from a living
room window means recog-nizing his place in the whole house and that
this will bring him "restful and safety" feeling.
What was most new and experimental in my impression was the hallway
to the guest rooms. As you
go back and forth this long hallway in gentle slope and curve,
observation bathroom on the upper side to the Japanese guest rooms
on the lower side, you gradually feel the distance<very long>. However,
once you go through this sense of distance, you begin to enjoy the
slope and the curve. I must realize that the natural body
consciousness is included in the architectural concept. The hallway is
sloping gently but the entrance width of the guest room is horizontal.
And that breaks the rhythm. Conversation of a mother and her
daughter were heard to say, "Why is it this way? " "They had to follow
the landform and so this is the result of it." But once you get used to
the slope, this consciousness of reconciliation gradually ceases. Since
the hallway is inclining, the level of the windows which are opened
horizontally in slit lowers down and down as you walk on. From
observation bathroom or a dining space<restaurant> to the guest
rooms on the lower side, you will be going back and forth repeatedly.
<L=360m, H=25m> You will be climbing up and going down the hallway
whose scale transcends the ordinary length, inclination and curve. And
through this comfortable sense of movement you,ll gradually
perceive the sense of unity that you walked the usuall walk just like a
daily routine. And this sense of movement and unity arouses the
physical sense of wholeness just as you perceive the visual sense of
wholeness from the train like view from the guest room windows. In
other words,whether it is the hallway on the inner side from where the
view of the curving train like buiding is observed upon looking out the
big garden or the closed hallway on the outer side, ｔhrough just
walking the hallway, the curve and the slope, you will feel the physical
comfort of ｂeing the part of the whole. The architect must be calling
here for the subconscious physical perception. The wall, the
ceiling,the floor of the closed hallway, the interior is tightly covered
by vinyl leather . Unlike the stairwell or the opened ceiling with folded
plate structure, the way of spacing seems abstract ,comfortable and
seems to sharpen your sense of perception. The interior seems
abstract and homogeneous. Abstraction meaning cosmic. The interior
of the ｈouses in future might have a soft and homogeneous impression
just like a house interior of a ｃomfortable and temperature controlled
spaceship. The unfolded background of green pastoral and mountain
scenery looks like a good old scenery of hills and fields and that is far
most from reality. The scenery observed from the window here -- is it
as a reality framing the landscape? And further more, this long inclined
passage provokes my remembrance of the long passage of pastoral
moutainsided spa<Onsen> enduring extension and extension on top of
another. The result of construction following the landform seems to
bring out to express new and modern imagination. Is it the reversal
process of conversing outer passage of pastoral mountain side spa to
inner passage and making it comfortable and homogeneous space?
There is quite a large garden surrounded by a boomelung shaped plane.
It looks as though it was left so due to the shortage of budget and
looks breathtaking. There are rock circles in about threefold. They
used the natural rocks which were taken out during construction. They
used them roughly and left much weeds so that the artificial treatment
is done in the minimum. And in this treatment I can,t help perceiving an
intention or other. The children may sit there when they enjoy the
campfire. Also from the guest room window you can well see the place
where big rocks are gathered concentrated carelessly at the end of the
rock circle. I recall so called Yunomaru Pasture where you can reach
climbing for an hour from here,and where there are big rocks scattered,
though not as dense as here. And they put salt on the rocks for the
cows looking like white dots in the green. I remember this good and old
sight of salt on the rocks, for I had grown up near here <Ueda-City>.
Is it a coincidence that they brought in such indigenity? In my case it
was in my elementary school years when I had climbed Mt. Yunomaru
starting from an old and dark inn looking like a hut. I feel the time has
passed thinking that my children are climbing from such a worldly