HANAZAKI 景观设计事务所 巴西最具创意的景观公司之一，也是唯一获得ASLA专业奖的巴西景观公司。十八年来，他们一直秉承着极简主义理念，关注景观概念和细节，致力于将其意义融入纯粹主义美学，并坚持将每个项目当做艺术品来设计。
Since its beginning, 18 years ago, Hanazaki has been considered one of the most creative landscape architecture firms in Brazil. Hanazaki is the only Brazilian landscape architecture studio that has been awarded with the ProfessionalAwards of ASLA. They insist on minimalistic environments, in concept and attention to minutiae, composed with details that flirt with purist aesthetics and its meanings.
We focus on landscape architecture industry and devote to spreading the excellent design ideas around the world. In today’s interview, we introduce Alex Hanazaki, Founder of HANAZAKI LANDSCAPE.
总策划：陈科君 / Producer: Kejun Chen
主编辑：陈科君、陈虹羽、王兰芳、王维佳 / Editor: Kejun Chen, Hailee Chen, Via Wang, Weijia Wang
As one of a Brazil’s foremost landscape designer, yourself of Japanese ancestry, what has affected on your design in such a multi-culture growth environment?
I grew up in a small town in the interior of São Paulo. A city with vast expanses of agricultural land. A city with only 10 thousand inhabitants. Like any child in these small towns, I spent my time playing in the street, climbing trees, swimming, and fishing in the rivers that crossed through the town, always having close contact with nature.
I am the third generation of Japanese descendants in Brazil, which is the country with the largest Japanese population outside Japan.
Since my early childhood, I have always had a close relationship with the artistic universe, and later, at school, I was very much encouraged to follow this direction. As a result, my decision to pursue a University course in Architecture came naturally.
At the Architecture University, I admired everything from the classic works through to the minimalists. What I considered beautiful overcame any predilection for taste.
Out of all things that motivated me, rationalist architecture was a very important element of my qualification and for my aesthetic sense. Apart from important international names including Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, and Le Corbusier, I was also influenced by Brazil, which brought out an impressive crop of modernist architects within this rationalist school, such as (show) Oscar Niemeyer, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Vilanova Artigas, Lina Bo Bardi.
Notice the surgical precision of the lines, the economy of strokes, the presence of pure and clean lines, the value of the void and the renouncement of excesses.
On the eve of my graduation, I decided to take a course in landscaping. This was a four-day course in a city called Holambra, which is the largest producer of flowers for cutting and ornamental plants in Brazil. These four days spent taking the course were enough to change my life. It was then that what I really wanted to be dawned on me: I wanted to be a landscape architect.
This is how I came to the mammoth city of São Paulo. This was another case of sheer culture shock: a cosmopolitan city with over 12 million people, multicultural, a concrete jungle full of buildings – a city that is very strong economically, with big possibilities on the labour market. This was where I opened my office.
How do you start a project after receiving one?
Being an architect is the main influence on my method of designing a garden, and, for this reason, the my external architecture element is so strong. The architectural elements are shown with strong evidence, often even more than the plant elements. In my works, botany is the finishing.
Now talking about the creative process, when I am going to start a project, the first study is that of architecture, which is essential for analysing the type of garden that is most appropriate for the valuation. I need to analyse the message that the architect intends to transmit with this project. What are his references and ideas? In many cases, these answers are the greatest sources of inspiration.
Next, I need to be aware of the expectations and the needs of the people who are going to use the garden. There is always a need for this kind of questioning. What is the purpose of the garden? Is there any particular taste involved? How much should be invested?
In the third stage, the analysis of the location is very important, and the development of a Garden in Brazil is always an adventure in itself! After all, Brazil is a country of continental size in itself, with several different types of biomes.
Finally, to finalise the creative process and start the development of the project, what I most like to do in the office is Brainstorm. We bring the whole creation team together, around a table – a team of 15 young and creative architects. Discussing the architectural project, analysing needs and expectations, and pooling ideas and references. Thus, the project gets under way.
The residential garden you designed has been awarded “the most beautiful residential garden in the world” by ASLA before, what elements do you think a good garden should possess?
First we always analyze the architecture and the environment where the house / building is inserted. This is my first starting point for developing any project. After that, a customer briefing is necessary for you to make all these wishes a reality. After that, several possibilities can happen, namely: architectural elements in the external area, ground level work, lighting, among many possible elements. I do not believe that there is a basic element to a project, but the peculiarity of each one is what makes a garden unique. But of course, a basic element that I always look for in all cases is the proportion. This is fundamental.
Q：Jardim GM和Jardim CS项目展现出不同的几何美感，都给人非常强烈的视觉冲击，这两个项目是否有可比性？能否把这两个项目的设计过程做详细分享？
Jardim GM and Jardim CS project show different geometric aesthetics, both of which give people a very strong visual impact. Could you share the design process of these two projects in detail?
As mentioned before, each garden has its particularity according to the architecture and customer briefing. About GM and CS gardens, they are really very geometric gardens, where we had as a starting point this remarkable architecture of both residences.
Some of the current designs are becoming more and more similar, the garden spaces you designed are both exquisite and characteristics. In the same space which is small and private, how do you keep the individuality of each garden?
Yes, architecture, like fashion, cars, among many other things is increasingly recurring. What is new today is already out of fashion in a short time due to the massification of everything. But in gardens, we have a big advantage, because in my case, in addition to trying to make each of the gardens unique to each client, where we try to go out of the way by creating each project in a unique way, we also have the advantage of the garden being a living being that is constantly changing, growing, blooming and naturally changing every day.
Innovation can come through many forms in a landscape design. Be it through species little used in a particular region, in architectural designs or in unusual forms in the garden concept. But beyond that, we also need to be focused on technology that benefits not only customers, but especially benefits to nature, such as automated irrigation, which seeks correct use and avoids wasting water, native plants where we reduce maintenance costs, transports and water consumption, LED lighting and solar energy use. We have many creative and modern features that go beyond aesthetics that we can benefit from using them.
In all of your garden design projects, which one makes you still excited when you think of them?
This question is a bit difficult to answer, because projects have their particularities, customers that we have more connection than others, among many other reasons that end up bringing us more pleasure to work. But I have some situations that I think I can comment on: I have special affection for projects that I have greater autonomy to develop, such as the projects of Casa Cor, as in projects where customers perceive that the garden is like a great work of art, that they respect quite a lot of creative process, difficulties that may exist and adaptations, which realize that the garden needs care, where there is a dedication to always be healthy, well maintained. The gardens are living beings, where the treatment they receive, they return us in the form of exuberance, flowers and textures. Of course the architecture helps a lot in the result, but one will always complement the other.
Q：Casa Cor 2017这个项目令人印象深刻，非常有趣，想知道您为什么会在庭院的设计中加入淋浴喷头、洗手盆这些日常中的生活用品？您想带来什么样的场所体验？
Casa Cor 2017 is an impressive and interesting project. We would like to know why you chose to add daily necessities such as shower heads and wash basins to the garden design, what kind of space experience do you want to bring?
I was invited by a sanitary ware manufacturer (DECA) to exhibit their products in this architectural and landscaping show called CasaCor.
For a landscape architect, elements such as showers, taps, sinks, and toilets are unusual in our designs. So we try to reframe these products by turning waterfall showers, creating a water curtain. Taps and sinks were turned into fountains. And the big challenge was the use of the toilet in the middle of the garden. So we ended up turning a lot of toilets into a kind of muxarabi.
Have you ever participated in any large-scale design project? What are your future attempts?
We have several large projects, but all private projects, such as hotels, condominiums, among others of this type. But I have a big dream of realizing a grand public project where it can benefit not only a few people, but a large community, where we can bring about an improvement in the quality of life of a region.
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