HAKONE OPEN AIR MUSEUM, Hakone, Japan

This is the first phase of the renovation of this well known but aging sculpture garden set within the natural beauty of the mountains of Hakone. The design team was faced with two primary issues.

 

First, rather than to create gardens that respond to the specific sculptures in the museum’s collection, the curators chose to select and locate the new display of sculptures only after the landscape design was complete. Secondly, while analyzing the existing conditions the designers found that most of the challenges for a successful renovation lay in resolving the quantity of inharmonious additions that had been imposed upon the garden resulting in a compromise of the experience of sculpture viewing.

 

Consequently, equipped with the theme of the “De-signed Forest” the team developed a simple plan based on a meandering footpath that maximizes the length of viewing time and distance and creates as many viewpoints as possible for locating sculpture.  Clusters of trees were added to form backdrops and to spatially partition the site into smaller viewing “galleries”.

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