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Niwa - A new garden for the Japanese House

Domaine de Boisbuchet, Diego Delgado

Re-defining the landscape of Boisbuchet.

This video is part of a series on the Domaine de Boisbuchet’s workshops. The Domaine de Boisbuchet is an international center for design, architecture and applied arts, in the southwest of France founded in 1989. Find more videos following the tag #Boisbuchet.

Conducted by Susanne Kohte and Hiroshi Nakao, the "Niwa" workshop took place in the surroundings of the Japanese house, in the Domaine de Boisbuchet. The house, donated to the Domaine, is part of the architectural park, located North of the Chateau and East to the Techstyle-Haus and the Grand coupole.

As the website explains "once part of a large estate in the Shimane Prefecture of Western Japan, this traditional guesthouse – constructed in 1860 and gifted to Boisbuchet by the Japanese Kominka Research Society – was brought to the Charente and faithfully rebuilt by a team of Japanese craftsmen". At the present state, the guesthouse sat in a pastoral setting of the remains of an English landscape garden. The intent of the workshop was "to invent, to create and to establish connections between the Japanese house and its surroundings, between the interior of the house and the exterior, between our bodies and nature, between the past and the present".

Called to conduct the workshop that would reinterpret, re-define and re-read the landscape of Boisbuchet, were the German architect and urban planner Susanne Kohte, who worked in Japan for Shigeru Ban, Tokyo, in India for Balkrishna Doshi as well as in various offices in the Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland (since 2001 she founded SUKO Architecture). Recently she published a book titled "Encounters and Positions – Architecture in Japan", where she combines reflections on the practice of Japanese architects with an analytical consideration of Japanese architecture from an international perspective.

Along with her, the Kobe-born Hiroshi Nakao is an international artist and architect practicing in Fujisawa, Japan. He established the artistic defection of the project, based on his interest in haptic space and the relationship between bodies and material.

Diego Delgado, author of the video, presents this all-female party of students, discussing, drawing, seeding the area: the minimal landscape design project is a matter of knowledge, poetry and planting. Step by step, with a kind of poetic slowness, the garden grows under our eyes - however it is clear that the method, the observation practice is at the center of the 7-days long workshop.


Architects: Susanne Kohte and Hiroshi Nakao
Mentioned project: 庭 Niwa – A new garden for the Japanese house (2018)
Project location: Domaine de Boisbuchet, Lessac, France
Participants: Kim Band, Chen Yi-Chen, Heena Bhargava, Nora Okko, Hannah Sophia Nowak, Misaki Nakahata, Julia Shroder, Anna Majehrke, Eva Girzalsky, Lin Yi-Wei, Huang Shih-Chieh, Mia Baraka

France 2018
Duration: 2'38"