building site：Fukuyama, Hiroshima
scope of work：Design and construction – all of outdoor space and soil-wall of tea ceremony-room/ steel hole, Stone bowl ”ANA-BACHI” “MIKULAN”, other]
Architect design：UID architecs
photos：Hiroshi Ueda, Sergio Pirrone
A house with four different types of tea gardens in Hiroshima, Japan, the name ‘Mikulan’ was created by playfully combining the names of the clients two pet dogs called Miku and Landy, and the space concept of ‘Void’. Spatially, the concept and composition is based upon the sacred ritual of the tea ceremony, drawing upon the client’s background as a Japanese tea master.
The gardens have four themes: water, earth, stone and grass. The plan acts to emphasize and unify the division of the individual spaces between the inside and outside, each of which is dispersed under the large roof with deep eaves, a common feature of the traditional Japanese house. The spaces to the north and south are contiguous and arranged to integrate with the building and resonate with one another. As an articulated sequence of core spaces, tight connecting paths and breathing voids, the residence succeeds to combine an extraordinary mastery of art and craft and the contemporary lifestyle.
Without acting as partitions, the gardens themselves almost become passageways between these different experiences, leaving the visitor to come and go freely between inside and outside, the ground and the sky. This continuity of space is reinforced by using construction techniques to express the unique qualities of the raw materials such as, the textured grain of the wood in the Tokonoma (alcove), the rammed earth wall of soil and weathered gravel in the sky garden, and the fragments of stonework in the large tearoom, which refrain from drawing a direct distinction between interior and exterior.
In this project, all spatial elements are treated equally so that the gardens are perceived as yet another spatial language, leaving the clients free to enjoy themselves amongst the various uses and sensitive sounds of water.
1. Water Garden / as “water” is cast over the earth
Roji (passage garden). An approach to the Nijiroguchi (small tearoom’s entrance) and a garden to purify one’s mind and body by using Tsukubai (crouching water basin) made by the local granite.
2. Soil Garden / as “soil” begins to move
Roji. A garden, which includes the black bay stone terrace for purifying one’s mind and body by using Tsukubai when the guests move from the small tearoom to the large tearoom. The Tsukubai is made from stone brought from the local mountain and suggests the process of changing from the stone to gravel and then to soil.
3. Stone garden / as “stone” break through the earth
Zen garden. A picture garden for the occasion of Tea Ceremony In the large tearoom. The garden is covered with gravel made from fragments of the same stone used in the water garden.
4. Grass Garden / as “grass” extends to the sky
A garden for the living room and bathroom. In the tea ceremony, it also functions to make the host feel relaxed when the meal is being prepared and presented to the guests.