Asphalt Spot by R&Sie

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We've got hold of a good set of photos of Asphalt Spot, a landscape project in rural Japan by French architects R&Sie.

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The text below is from dezeen editor Marcus Fairs' book, Twenty-First Century Design:

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Set amid farmland in rural Japan, this small project is a bizarre hybrid of landscape art and infrastructure. It consists of a square, 20-space car park that looks as if it has been struck by an earthquake – its corners have been lifted into the air, its surface ripples and buckles and a great gash has been torn in its black asphalt surface.

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Asphalt Spot was completed in 2003 as part of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2003 – a cultural festival that saw 157 artists and architects from 23 countries produce 224 artworks in the Shinano Basin of Niigata Prefecture.

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Despite being one of Japan’s main rice-producing regions the area has experienced severe depopulaiton in recent years and the triennal was intended to attract visitors to the region.

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Designed by Parisian architects R&Sie, Asphalt Spot was commissioned by the Art Front Gallery in the nearby town of Tokamashi as an exhibition venue with integrated visitor facilities and parking. Yet the architects treated the project as an art installation itself, designing a structure that mimics the bumpy terrain and merges seamlessly with the surrounding landscape.

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The building straddles a steep incline between a road and the lower-lying fields, creating a new topography linking the two levels. The undulating surface is even criss-crossed by fences similar to those used to divide fields.

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Beneath one corner of the car park is a 300sq m open sided exhibition hall, which is used as a venue for art exhibitions. The hall is punctuated by a forest of leaning concrete columns that hold up the car park above and which have been covered in canvas sleeves, as has the underside of the ceiling.

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R&Sie’s architecture often appears to have emerged from the landscape, consisting of forms that appear to drift or which mutate and clone elements found nearby.

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Led by François Roche and Stéphanie Lavaux, R&Sie are firmly situated on the conceptual, experimental wing of the contemporary architecture scene. The office’s name is a pun on the word “heresy".

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Text taken from Twenty-First Century Design by Marcus Fairs, published by Carlton Books in October 2006.

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  • JAI

    ME GUSTA LA PLASTICIDAD QUE TIENE, AUNQUE NO SE HASTA QUE PUNTO ES FUNCIONAL.

  • Musser

    I can’t tell you WHY, exactly, I love this… but, indeed, I DO love this.

  • alabestia! diseño

    genial! hace de lo rutinario algo del pasado, porqué no hacer las cosas con sentido del humor? me gusta que la gente sea feliz

  • Los Angeles, California

    Reminds me of the closing scene in the Great Escape where Steve McQueen can’t quite get his bike over the rolling hills of barbed wire from his Nazi pursuers.

    Lots of fun, for any thrill seeker (like me).

    PS A “alabestia”; “Feliz?” Creo que poco mal…

  • Najah al saffaf

    i luv this !

  • Arch

    cool cool cool cool weird cool cool cool!!!

  • seb

    Je ne comprends pas ce qui motive une réponse aussi exigeante en terme de spectacularisation et de trouble de l'utilisateur ? On dirait un de ces jeux sophistiqués où l'un met l'autre en difficulté attendant qu'il tombe par exemple sous couvert de ne pas y toucher bien sûr.