The project is the folly for the invited exhibition “Kenchiku Symposion” at Kyoto Art Center. Taro Igarashi invited six teams from Japan, France and Germany to deal with the topic of prohibitions in Japanese Public Space and is built in the court yard of Kyoto Art Center – a former school building in the Kimono district of Kyoto.
“A Float of Immaterial Pleasures” deals with the prohibitions on “Feeding birds” and “kissing” by providing three boxes and some screens to enjoy romance and the Japanese Warbler (uguisu). The French composer Olivier Messiaen gave us the “missing link” to the two picked functions with his idea of birds as “messengers of
Because the idea of immateriality is quite contradictory to the field of architecture – especially because the given material for the exhibition was wood – we had three design strategies for the folly:
1. building a “fragment”
The user/viewer is invited to “complete” the seemingly “unfinished” structure he/she sees in an immaterial way – and thereby gets a closer empathy-like connection to the built structure. The strategy of fragmentation is also shown by the layers shown in the construction in a way of a “building anatomy” – wooden beam, constructive plywood planking and colored fibre cement cladding.
2. colors and layering
As reference to the place of the exhibition, the Kimono district of Kyoto, we use in analogy to the historic Japanese Junihitoe – garment (a 12-layered Kimono) an inside/outside layering of the “three boxes” using the EQUITONE pictura color palette we created for ETEX in 2014.
3. hidden vs. public
The intertwining of three box-like structures of different sizes creates different offers for kissing postures in shady places. geometrically the shaping of thresholds is inspired by the entries of Japanese love hotels but executed here with transparent materials as well as window-related openings cutting horizontally through the entire structure a bit below eye level.
PEOPLE and BIRDS
We consider birds in the city as wild animals living in a man-shaped habitat. As we learned during the project it is generally not a good idea to feed birds during the summer, because the birds should feed naturally – but it helps these animals to survive by offering water for drinking and bathing – especially in a hot climate like Kyoto.
That for four pools are offered for the birds. By a sparse sound-scape by Carlo Peters made of birdsong of the Japanese Warbler (uguisu – a bird who usually hides himself carefully while singing) the birds are attracted to find their way to the pools as well as giving the people the illusion of a bird present.
SPACES for ROMANCE
The intertwining of the “three boxes” forms various possibilities to hide in a shady place and offering various possibilities of body postures for kissing. We used parts of the commonly used grey dust nets used in Japan to hide the building site from the public (building is seen as disturbance) to form different graduations of privacy as well as strengthen the idea of a unfinished construction. Source by ludwig heimbach architektur.
- Location: Kyoto, Japan
- Architect: ludwig heimbach architektur
- Architect of Record: dot architects, Osaka
- Sound Scape: Carlo Peters
- Ornithologist: Marius Adrion, NABU
- Year: 2017
- Photographs: Nobutada Omote, Courtesy of ludwig heimbach architektur
Article by Marco Rinaldi