- Takeshi Nagasaki / N-tree
- Tokyo, Japan
This is an exterior project for "Kunbokusou,” the newly built wooden apartment housing in Kagurazaka, Tokyo. We were requested to design a garden which includes a proposal to the housing project "Future living with wood" of Daiwa Lumber Co., Ltd., an well-established lumber wholesaler. It was challenging how we could design the alleyway in a flagpole-shaped block of land which in general has a lower property value.
In the early stages of this plan, the architect Mr. Asari proposed that housing should be a place to restore the human existence in a busy modern society, and the coziness that restores human existence is developed by the deep exploration into the individuality of both the architect and the landscape architect. While frankly exchanging each other’s thoughts, we eventually sought for beauty and security of the natural material, and ambience of wholeness without a sense of segmentation.
A moderate elevation and swells on the floor was made. It starts wildly with a cobblestone alleyway with a glimpse of natural stones and sharp stepping stones that puzzle the pedestrians, while continuing to the mild road of Suwa-Teppei stones. And as we go further, rough Kiso stones appear again and eventually reaches to Fukaiwa stone that has a matte expression and a sense of stability.
The flat Fukaiwa stone (Kanuma stone) in front of the dwelling units were arranged to align so as to make the building stand out. The aim of using four types of stone to change the footwork was to give a pleasant feeling to the feet and take people’s eyes away from the high fence of the neighbors and focus on the footsteps. Planting nearly 30 different types of evergreen plants, mainly shrubs with gentle swelling, also leads the pedestrian’s focal point downwards. The three pillar-like objects in front of the dwelling units abstractly imitate the appearance of trees lined with overhangs reminiscent of the root and branches of the tree.
By applying cedar bark on three sides of the pillars, the surface is restored to the form of trees before processed as lumbers. The pillars connect the building and the garden responding to the building that features cedar board. Iron handrail, pillars, and a wall leading to the back and the swaying lighting attract to the dignified appearance of Kunbokusou.
This garden is literally an alley to the dwelling units as in the name of "alleyway garden."
We hope that this alleyway garden will serve as a part of the comfortable living place for the residents to restore human existence.