Recently completed office interior near Hangzhou’s West Lake. Photos by Eiichi Kano.
Hard to believe such rich lush nature exist in the middle of Tokyo. Hundred year-old seeds in the Koishikawa Botanical Gardens founded in 1877 became giant trees in grounds that we now cannot but experience as natural and absolutely beautiful.
To talk about our Train Inn, we could do it in two ways:
“For the Train Inn, we made a tall glass reception/cafe building that completes the final edge of a court bounded by an old black steam engine to one side, timber stepped seating going up to three sleeper cars across, and a green dining car to another. We wanted to make a continuous environment that the body undergoes whether sitting inside the glass reception/cafe building or outside in the court. Architecture here is not the building not form in the conventional sense, but is what the human body undergoes or experiences. In other words the locus of the total architectural experience is the moving-perceiving-sensing human body, the human body that uses things, does things. It is more than what the eye visually sees or what the mind conceptually imagines. To do this, furniture, greenery, light fixtures, decks, and counters, all play equally important roles to orchestrate the way human beings move or sit around “using” this environment. Materials and shapes of what goes on inside and what appears outside are the same. They hold an equal weight of consideration existing without hierarchy, thought of all at once. While the enclosure that is conventionally thought of as architecture is kept discrete and light — not bounded by a clear simple geometric figure — but with inflections and responses according to each adjacent condition to make new conditions for human experience. In this way, the conventional idea of architecture as building or form is made more subtle; it has no desire to announce its presence too strongly. It now constitutes a set of scenes to organise (in our particular way) the constant flow and flux of human experience in this world.
“We imagine a kind of cafe or restaurant or beer garden or a new kind of urban public space where patrons share benches (instead of tables) such that they can sense someone near yet far enough, sitting both inside and outside of a small but tall glass pavilion. People move in a continuous experience inside and outside or dine on similar such benches and tables, such that what is in or what is out, what is my side and what is your side, what is my world and what is your world, matters less.”
The first tells while the second evokes. The first is what architecturally trained people prefer to hear, disguised in an objective passive voice; how we have been taught in schools to communicate in order to quickly get to some form of closed “knowledge”. The second presents a more concrete image that requires some kind of participation from the reader, some effort to imagine and complete.
From our blog, you must know prefer the latter.