Forest Observatory
Kyushu, Japan
31°56'23.3"N 130°46'42.0"E

Completed 2004


When first entering the thick forest at the site, one starts instinctively to walk silently and to listen carefully to the whispering sounds.

One could not see clearly longer than twenty meters, but things further than that could be heard. This small forest was full of sounds that became mysterious since the source was hidden; strange birds, creeping animals in the bush, wind in the treetops. The often prevailing fog strengthened this experience. If you stand still for a while, it becomes a universe you would like to understand more. Perhaps, if one listens patiently enough, it reveals itself. Silent and alert, you become partly animal again.

This architectural instrument, Forest Observatory, standing inside woods, is designed to aid persons in pursuit of understanding the nature. It collects and harbors sounds and offers focused shelters for perception. The inner courtyard is an articulated, closed acoustic room, allowing silent conversation to take place.

The concept is based on a simple observation that at times whispering is more effective than shouting.

Local Architect
Architect Office Himalaya, Tokyo

Kirishima Open Air Museum

Art Front Gallery, Tokyo

Concrete cast on site, white marble gravel from river bottom

Diameter 9500mm, height varies from 2800-3200mm


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