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œChapter3œ
Creates a sense of unity with nature
Designated National Important Cultural Property
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
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See it with your heart!
An impressive space with nature as its star.
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Seeing the building and space with your heart?

It is said that Wright always used nature in his concepts, and aimed at a unification of geography and buildings, and harmony with the surrounding environment. If you look at the outer appearance of YODOKO Guest House while keeping his ideas in mind, you will see the building stands naturally along the slope without disturbing the ridgeline of the hill. The building gives the impression of being a great rock hugging the ground. Moreover, you will find that there are dramatic spatial formations with nature as its star, even inside the building, due to the wonderful view which is as if one were standing upon a hill. The key to where and how to find these spots is to see them with your heart. In other words, understanding Wright's intentions in his design by exercising your insight and imagination is important.


Appreciating the view in front of you like the appreciation of art

You might miss them when passing by without paying much attention, but there are places that increase in wonder when you look at them with your heart. One of them is the driveway built in wellhole style in front of the main entrance. If you stand here and look over the Veranda, a clear-cut and brilliant view comes into sight. The surrounding walls and pillars serve the role of picture frame, and you can enjoy a rich moment as if appreciating a landscape picture. In fact, similar presentations in which a part of a wall is hollowed out to show garden scenery can be found in Japanese temples. Whether or not Wright took this idea from this method is yet unknown, but you will be fascinated by the spatial formation that skillfully makes use of the nature outside.


Veranda on the south side of the entrance driveway,
where the city and ocean can be viewed

Outside views as part of the interior
Places where you can simply enjoy views of more orthodox beauty are the balconies and the second floor salon. Near the east and west side windows in the salon are the best points, with built-in couches under the huge fixed-sash windows. These give the impression that outside views are included as a part of the interior decoration. They are expressions of thoughtfulness and hospitality toward the guests of the house, so that they could relax and make themselves at home.
2nd floor salon west side window with a view of mountains and an affluent neighborhood

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Flower bowl
(In front of the entrance hall)
"The Charms of Life-Enriching Spring Water"
Bamboo blinds and wind-chimes, which appear on the scene during summer, are familiar ways to bring cool air and comfort into the house. In front of the entrance hall, YODOKO Guest House also has a spot that is refreshing to your eyes, and purifies your mind. Spring water trickles from a stone pillar embedded in the wall, and the water runs into a small pit made of stone, creating a cool atmosphere. If you exercise your imagination further, you might be able imagine that it is a washbasin placed in front of a tea ceremony house. You may find it amusing, then, when the entrance hall, which is relatively narrow and small in comparison with size of the entire building, reminds you of a small door of the style specific to tea ceremony rooms.
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*This article was written by Yodogawa Steel Works, under the supervision of Mr. Fumitaka Hirata of the Building Research Institute Foundation, which administrates the restoration and preservation of YODOKO Guest House.


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