Ever since my first visit as a student, Japanese architecture has always inspired me through its thoughtful consideration of the relationship between nature and the built environment. As I was looking through my photos from a recent trip to Japan, I was again struck by the powerful examples of this relationship, most notably with respect to water. Below are some interesting instances of this harmony between structure and water in Japan that I encountered on my past visits. Feel free to share your own favorite examples in the comments:
The programs of this house are arranged loosely to form a courtyard in an oasis above ground, and carved into the earth creating a sanctuary underground. Concrete, stone and wood are used as primary materials in the house, but light and vegetation are also used as materials to enhance contrasts between hard and soft, dark and bright.
Beneath the courtyard, which is filled with sunlight and varieties of greenery, a subterranean room is hidden underground, which is filled with water from a subterranean aquifer. As one enters this subterranean room underground and descends the stairs through a dark corridor, he/she experiences dramatic passage into the earth.
The room provides a comfortable silence and allows rays of hot Indian sun to penetrate the earth into the space, into the water. Find out more about this architecture by clicking here.
This wooden structure is located on Lake Rotsee, Switzerland to observe rowing contest. OSB and plywood are waterproofed and used as finishing for exterior and interior showing honesty in terms of materiality use.
The structure is designed to harmoniously blend with the landscape, and a series of shutters are used to control the view of the race. When all the shutters are closed, the architecture becomes a windowless wooden object on the water.
Tough, inexpensive materials are used, the overall architecture is well designed and each nail’s location are designed where to be inserted.
The wooden structure is supported by a concrete platform, which is anchored into the shoreline with pinewood to respect surroundings environmental conditions.
Check out this more about this rowing observatory tower here!