Skip to content


Art Biotop Water Garden



Art Biotop Water Garden designed by Junya Ishigami represents how a man-made design can interact with nature without damaging it but appreciating it.
The project site is located in the north of Tokyo near the Nasu Mountains. The forest adjacent to the project site was decided to be transformed into a hotel area, so numerous trees would be cut down. The architect proposed to relocate these trees and create a new landscape reflecting the history of the site.

Two main layers are superimposed on the site: paddy field and mossy forest landscape. While trees were relocated from their previous site, new ponds have been created. These ponds have been filled with water coming from the existing sluice gate and connected to the irrigation system that leads to continuous flow.

For the construction of the new garden, architects aimed to use and transform only existing elements of the site. More than 160 unique ponds were shaped in between 318 trees, each tree was carefully transformed and planted again. Biotopes become habitats for insects, aquatic plants and animals.

The water garden represents a new relationship between water and trees that do not exist in the natural world. So, the new landcape can be described as highly artificial yet it became an alternative natural environment. The beautiful atmosphere of the site changes and appears differently to its visitors during the four seasons. It welcomes different species while preserving its unique character and structure.

In 2019, the project was selected as a winner of Obel Award.

Related posts