Postcard 011
Autumnal Equinox
Dear Kikō Mozuna.



Dear Kikō Mozuna.



Spending the night at your View Sunset Hotel and what a curious place this is. Chosen for its proximity to the Hidee Winery, yet evidently more interesting. Your celebrated avant-garde architect’s fantasy built in richer days of ignorance in a world of imagined infinite resources.

Stepping into the glass and concrete illusion of an entrance and ascending the stairs to the front desk was like walking into a Murakami novel. Here I was kindly met by the owner, seemingly the only other person there. I enquired about your unique design and he intently answered. 

Built in 1991, designed by you, Kikō Mozuna, an architect I should’ve heard of. Resisting the salty sea winds favouring the neighbouring vines, yet after only thirty years your concrete, wood & steel construction is degenerating beyond repair. Once a celebrated example of design, now a regrettable scar of naivety.


I love it — I hate it.


I walked around exploring every corner still functional. Opened doors and examined windows —gravity overlooked sliding them uncontrollably open once unlocked.

I longed to enter your concrete spherical private lounge and climb your celebrated viewing platform, but they too, like a quarter of your uniquely designed special guest rooms —with private views, baths and tea houses for “occasions to entertain important family members and partners”— are corroding into neglect. The dire yellow tape strewn across once open doorways and deadly descending staircases does not do justice to your Design inside waiting to be appreciated one last time.

The money once pouring in isn’t any more. Looking through the lens of regenerative design at your wonderful example of degenerative design; doomed from inception. Astronomical running costs; maintenance outmatched by the elements.

At least you dared to design beyond mediocrity, to question standardised excuses for hotels enshrouded by facades of pretentious luxury. Given a choice, always choosing to check-in to your attempted true experience —threadbare carpets and all.

I found myself in the bathhouse naked and alone. I meditated on your design. Every detail of every corner, every adjoining material, texture, sight and sound.


Fantastic.


You will be sad to hear that many of which are now hidden under thoughtless additions; corner-cutting repairs accumulated over time so slowly that to the untrained eye the loss of Design goes unnoticed.


Tragic.


Is it your design which has failed us or us who have misleadingly failed —your— Design?



Wish you were here.

James










Nutrition Movement Community Purpose

Photographs series:
View Sunset Hotel bathhouse designed by Kikō Mozuna.
Ishikawa, Japan

(Photograph courtesy of the kind people at jp.trip.com)



This is an Arukari Postcard emailed out every new moon.

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