Using local earth from London and reeds for thatching, this artwork was created together with Japanese and local students, craftspeople, and children over the course of a month. The idea is to take your shoes off at the round entrance and walk through a tunnel of straw to reach the earthen interior space where you can lie down on a bed of earth to become one with the place.
After one month of being exhibited, the earth was reused to make flowerpots which were exchanged between Japanese and English primary school children as a means of building their international relationship and communication. The round entrance shape was cut out and reused as a flower bed at a nearby primary school.
There was a wide range of visitors from various ethnic groups in London and it was interesting to hear how everyone, including the Japanese, commented on the fact that such a house existed in their own country. The fact that houses made of earth exist all over the world has inspired me to continue building earthen architecture. It was the first time to work with children to create a space and their vitality was contagious and impressive. The project has received a great response, being featured in newspapers and on the radio in London, and became the origin for the current work in community building and working with children.
© Ph. + drawings, Tono Mirai architects
Circulating Art / Community building / Craftsmanship / Earthen walls / Natural materials / Reed / Sustainability
Category — Art work
Construction Period — June – August 2000
Floor number — 1st floor above ground, installation
Structure — Rebar, reed panels, earthen wall finish