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A Writer’s Retreat

By : Wong Hoi Ming

Yoshiki is a Japanese male song writer and composer, pianist and drum player. His emotional nature goes to two extremes: he plays passionately on the piano, and is given to fits of crying. The songs he writes are classical metal. They mix epic and moving orchestral music with pure heavy metal madness. Many of his songs are beautiful ballads while the other half are heart-racing rock anthems. Here, a writer’s retreat is designed in ways that mirror Yoshiki’s temperament. A retreat house is built on a rock protruding into a bay on Lamma Island, south of Hong Kong Island. The hard and solid rocks that the retreat rests upon represent Yoshiki’s violent side. Meanwhile, the liquid water represents his delicate side. The retreat faces an endless sea which reflects Yoshiki’s tendency toward tears, hence rain and sea. The shape of house follows the pattern of rock growth. The retreat is made of marine wood to minimize saltwater corrosion. To enhance the combination of rocks and water, some parts of the house are physically embraced by the rocks. Different views achieve different purposes. The principal view from the house is seen from the piano room (facing the endless sea) as the piano is the most important element in Yoshiki’s life. Next comes the view from the drum room – toward the mountain, to create a sense of pressure when playing drums. The third view is of the sea, seen from the bath, providing a restful space for contemplation. Tutor’s Comments
Water settlements are historically popular in Hong Kong. Wooden shelters often stood on poles in the sea water. This project recalls tradition, but is now located amidst unusual and breathtaking coastal scenery. Integrated with rocks and water, the house inevitably responds to the particulars of the site. The pavilion-like, open layout maximizes views of natural scenic beauty. Foldable walls can be closed or opened responding to weather and activity. When closed, the house provides maximum interior comfort and protection from the elements. When opened, interior and exterior overlap. People and nature become one.

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