The House in Sri Lanka is set against a paradise on earth
White sandy beaches, dotted with palm trees and huts draped in coconut leaves, weave in and out of cliffs in Mirissa, located at the southern tip of Sri Lanka. Crocodiles, water snakes, black monkeys, wild elephants and even leopards roam freely in the jungle. Local fishermen hold on to wooden sticks buried beneath the sand at the edge of the sea as the fish swim towards them.
The house perches on top of a cliff, as if it were a leopard whose claws edge towards the Indian Ocean. It was a gift from a husband to his wife. The couple has been married for 40 years and Sri Lanka has been their home for the past 30. A slab of stone, placed outside the gate and reached through a thicket of green at the end of a meandering private road, is succinctly inscribed: “To Saskia.”
Shiba Ryotaro Memorial Museum, Osaka by Tadao Ando
Shiba Ryotaro was an important figure in Japanese literature after the World War II. Characterized by a critical look at modern life, his popular historical novels and travel writings provided moral support for Japanese people after the war. His sudden death in 1996 was widely mourned and his works are still seen by many Japanese as a sort of guide to life.
The museum built in memory of Shiba Ryotaro, designed by the Japanese Tadao Ando, has the aim of transmitting his message to future generations. Built on a site in Higashiosaka, next to the house where the author lived for many years, the project for the two buildings was conceived as a single integrated whole.
Set within the heart of the museum this space is simply called “another studio”. The walls of this vast space are three storeys high and covered in shelves containing the seemingly countless books collected by Shiba over the course of his lifetime.