Ivan Juarez of x-studio has conceived a new approach to the natural landscape of Oawa mountain, a protected and sacred forest located in the town of Kamiyama, Japan. The region is covered by evergreen woodland where the predominant vegetation includes trees of hinoki 檜-Japanese cypress- and sugi 杉-Japanese cedar-. In-between pavilion consists of a sugi wooden space generated from two elevated planes supported by a series of vertical elements -trunks of hinoki and sugi- that merge together with the natural environment. The wide frame suggests a fragment of the forest as a new viewpoint of reference. In this way, the pavilion pays homage to the traditional black-ink Japanese paintings made on landscape formats. The project is drawn as a space that does not end in specific limits, but merges with the surrounding vegetation expanding the visual boundaries transforming into a large three-dimensional canvas. The visitor enters through a blue-green stone - awa aoishi 青石 - and from there, the aroma and sound of wood, along with the texture of barks dialogue with the senses producing olfactory, tactile and visual experiences. In-between pavilion has been built using traditional Japanese techniques with the knowledge and participation of the local community. Its construction has been part of Kamiyama’s forestry management program. statement x-studio : : Ivan Juarez. The work created in my research practice explores new ways of relating the natural environment with community; projects which I have conceived them in reason and function of its physical and cultural context and could not be generated in other place than in the one of their conception and realization. My production started with the will of creating social-environmental initiatives from which I could reflect, research, and act in different fields of contemporary culture. Since its conception, my process is closely joined to the surroundings that lodged it, in which I develop a connection with the context where I involve local people, applying local concepts, materials and techniques. For me every project has always been a constant search, in each new project I want to be able to discover and experiment new possibilities. In this way, each proposal has a special character that gives me diverse options as a window that opens and drives me to another. My practice led-research explores new aspects to redefine the borders between contemporary habitats and society by creating new dialogues, as interactive and sensitive interventions that leave spaces for new encounters. Besides, my work explores unique sites in dialogue with society, senses, and ecologies. In this way, the projects interact with the context, generating new ways of coexistence. One of the aims of my work is to create a direct involvement with the community as a crucial component of my decision-making process. In this manner, I create a direct involvement with the place and its surroundings.
Architect and landscape architect working at the intersection of practice, research and teaching, across a wide variety of media and scales. Founder and principal of x-studio a multidisciplinary practice focused on exploring the dialogue between space and ecological systems. He has produced a series of projects that explore the built and natural environment from a cross-disciplinary approach. A series of works conceived in diverse contexts and scales ranging from architectonic spaces to landscape and urban interventions. His works have been produced in different countries of Europe, America, Asia and Africa. He has been awarded by multiple institutions such as the New York Architectural League Prize, the Prize Design Vanguard-Architectural Record, the Latin American Biennial of Landscape Architecture, the Venice-Arte Laguna Prize and named recipient of Can Lis Architectural Grant, given by Utzon Foundation. His projects have been extensively published and exhibited internationally.
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