Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Hakaze-an; Tea Pavilion Part 3

The building Hakaze-an is almost completed, just a very few minor details need to be finished. Originally the commission was to create the building with a small amount of landscaping around it. This has now been extended to add a large pond that will lap up close to the side of the building. The intention being that when the pond is filled with water the surface will catch a reflection of the building. The water surface will also add a air of mystery and calmness to the outlook from within the building. The pond will feature an island, which will be linked by stepping stones to the shoreline, allowing for a circular walk around the garden as a whole.

The tokonoma or alcove is for displaying a flower arrangement, a piece of pottery or a scroll painting.  The floor of the alcove is of cherry wood, and the white lime washed wall catches natural light from above. One last detail is to be added to complete the tokonoma, which will be shown in the next blog instalment.
Walls being rendered with lime plaster . The drainage gully filled with polished black pebbles has not been installed in this photograph.
Projects, be they gardens or buildings, the best of projects evolve in their own right. One can as the designer, visualise and conceive of a concept for a building or garden, but what happens in the best of circumstances is that the building or garden is recognised as having an independent life or being of it's own. This demands a leap of faith by the client, the designer and the builder, also a level of sensitivity in how to manage the 'inner' expression of the building or garden. It is ultimate a fine balance, as the work requires guidance, yet equally sufficient space to establish its own sense of being. 

The shaped roof was covered with a 150mm (6") deep layer of free draining material and then sheets of pre-grown sedum matting was laid over. The green roof absorbs and retains water, it also allows the building with its curved roof to blend elegantly into the surrounding landscape.

The roof is covered with Sedum matting, retained by a copper edging. Also visible is the window inserted to allow natural day-light to illuminate the tokonoma alcove.

                               The drainage gully can be seen, it catches water dripping from the roof.
The level of love, care and attention that has gone into the building has been a measure of developing its own identity. Respecting the qualities of the materials is also an important aspect. All material have their own 'life', and when approaching the creation of a building as a work of art, then these qualities need to be respected and incorporated into the unfolding of the finished form. The rendering of the walls is done with lime plaster, a traditional material that has been used in buildings in England for centuries. Lime plaster breathes, that is it allows the passage of water through the material. It hardens in time through a process of carbonification. Once the two coats of render have been applied and have dried  then a colour wash is applied. On the walls of Hakaze-an four coats of a neutral colour lime wash were applied to colour the walls. All the timbers have been treated with oil to bring out their colour and the detail of the grain of the timber.

All the main structural beams are held together with oak pegs.
Detail of roof supports
A hallmark of the whole ethos of the building has been to create a simple structure of fine natural materials, allowing as far as possible to allow the materials to reveal their own qualities. To enrich the eye and heart of the visitor by their presence and individual qualities. In approaching the landscape treatment of the exterior of the building it was conceived that here there would be more in the way of detail. Hence the detailed stonework of flat black and white pebbles have been set on edge to create the notion of flow. This detail actually starts within the entrance (genkan) 'flows' out to meet the path leading up to the entrance. The dry stream of pebbles then splits to the right and left; to the right it meets two large boulders set as guardian spirits, and to the left the stream flows towards the water basin arrangement, a traditional feature of the Japanese Teahouse architecture, where guests would perform a ritual ablution of hands and mouth.

The completed landscaping of the entrance to the building. The drainage gully can also be seen

Detail of the completed 'hard' landscaping immediately to the front of the building.

A water-basin arrangement to one side of the building. The basin (centre) is carved from a glaciated boulder.
 The approach to the building is calm and measured, principally laid with York stone flags of various sizes as stepping stones. The entire design of building and garden draws upon both Eastern and Western sources for inspiration. The whole is intended to find a meeting of Eastern and Western conceptions.
A stepping stone path of flagstones leads the visitor to the main entrance. Sagina subulate has been planted between the stones. The water-basin arrangement is to the right side behind the planting of dwarf rhododendrons

In the next blog post further details of the pond construction will be shown. The pond will have an island and a 3waterfall. The pond is intended to be a shallow pond, used mainly for its reflective surface, but with the inclusion of two deep areas. A specimen pine has been sourced to be planted on the island.

The pond will come quite close to the building. The island is the area where the surveyor's tripod is stood.(centre left). The concrete shelves will support stonework once the liner has been laid into the pond.

Looking out from the main space towards the pond and island being excavated. 

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