Japanese architecture practice Moriyuki Ochiai Architects has recently converted a botanical garden in Hakone into a museum’s multi-purpose space, the spectacular project has been entitled “Waterscape/Memory of Spring“.

A rich environment embellishes the space that neighbors Lake Ashi and Mount Hakone, it is a humid area in which moisture can accumulate around the plant roots thus filling a natural fountain with clear water that sweeps through soil. A symbolic presence of the former botanical garden, a banyan tree that used to grow in the middle of the transparent dome has been replaced today by a small octagonal sunken amphitheater in the center of the museum`s entrance. This has been made possible with a concrete layer followed by transparent resin.

The architects have embellished this resin with diversified pieces of shiny materials ranging from mirrors to glass elements and splinters of metal, this creates depth whilst adding a vibrant flare to this ” water surface”. Movement in the water has been highlighted through a playful composition of colors aroused by solar radiation, subject to continuous change thanks to time and weather.

The new space today is used as a multi-purpose venue point anchored in the surrounding landscape.

How do you see this exemplary project? A Botanical Garden Transformed Into a Museum might not be a project that we encounter often and the ambiance here is definitely unique, what do you think?

Photo Courtesy to © Moriyuki Ochiai Architects


Anton Giuroiu