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Transformation By Moriyuki Ochiai Architects

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Japanese firm Moriyuki Ochiai Architects transformed a botanical garden in Hakone area into a museum’s multi-purpose space and named the project “Waterscape/Memory of Spring“.

The place is surrounded by a rich environment next to Lake Ashi and Mount Hakone. In this humid area, moisture can seep through the site’s soil and accumulate around the plant roots. Thus, a natural fountain is filled with clear water. A large banyan tree which was symbolic for the former botanical garden, used to grow in the middle of the transparent dome. Now instead of it a colorful octagonal amphitheater stands at the center of the museum’s entrance. To make this possible, the whole floor was at first coated with concrete and then later filled up with transparent resin. The architects decorated the resin with elegant and diversified pieces using various shiny materials, like mirrors, glass elements and splinters of metal. The idea was to generate vibrant flares on the water surface. The lively movements are underlined by the play of colors, aroused by the solar radiation that is under continuous change, depending on the time and the weather conditions. The newly created space functions as a multi-purpose venue that matches with the surrounding landscape perfectly.

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All images © Takumi Ota