PWP Landscape Architecture

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IBM Japan Makuhari Building

Location

Makuhari, Japan

Completion Date

1991

Client

IBM Japan

Architect

Taniguchi & Associates; Nihon Sekki

Categories

>Civic Landscapes

Conceived as the landscape equivalent of the old-fashioned computer punch card in which pattern equates with information, the garden unfolds as a series of courtyards in reformulated Japanese tradition. Stone, water, bamboo, willows, evergreen shrubs, moss, gravel, and jade pebbles recall the elements of historical Japanese gardens. The distinction between organic matter and mineral elements is also blurred. For example, the thin bands of green slate resemble the trimmed hedges. The spaces are underlined and articulated by light. The surfaces of the pools, densely planted with water lilies, reflect sunlight. Dappled light is filtered through willows. A line of artificial light—recalling the IBM punch-card data line—traverses and links the various gardens; softly glowing during daytime, it becomes a linear accent at night. The garden becomes a contemplative display when viewed from the office building. A giant “Magritte” stone (seven by three meters) hovers weightlessly above the gravel field.