我們與自然的距離

關於居住的想像
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2020 / 10月

文‧鄧慧純 圖‧林格立


不知您是否有過這樣的經驗,身在擁擠的台北都會,天空被高樓切割成一塊塊、一角角,破碎得讓人心情鬱卒;要驅車往盆地邊緣走,才能遇見像碗公倒扣的一整片完整天空,和在碗底飄盪的白雲,碗的邊緣是連綿的山群,被各式不同深淺的綠意環抱,心境不自覺地開朗起來。對於自然,人們總不由自主有一分嚮往與眷念,但是住在都會裡,自然卻是遙不可及。


建築從原初為生存的安全庇護所,演變成對更便利、更舒適的追逐,卻也逐漸遠離自然。建築師早早思索自然、居住與人的三角習題,面對環境、氣候的變遷,找尋與自然永續共存之道是當代顯學,而「自然」的多元樣貌與兼容並蓄,也讓設計師們能各取所需、各顯身手。

用原生植物說台灣的故事

景觀設計師吳書原很自豪自己是農學院出身,當年東海大學景觀系的考試還是像醫學院一樣,要跑台識別圖桌上一株株的植物,從哪一科、目、學名、拉丁名、中文名、英文名等,深厚的植物學知識,也影響他日後為台中花博策展時,堅持要為台灣原生植物發聲的念頭。

當完兵在業界工作數年,吳書原暫別台灣,轉到英國建築聯盟學院(Architectural Association School of Architecture,簡稱AA)求學,在這裡他視野大開「倫敦這種國際大都會,它非常尊重自然,甚至做到the city in the garden(花園裡的城市)。我曾經手過幾個案例就是把馬路封掉改成公園,目標就是讓城市跟自然1:1共存。」

聊到這一段,吳書原也幫我們上了一堂景觀史課。我們以為英國的景觀設計與歐洲的整齊對稱規律相似,實則非也。18世紀中葉,英國的景觀設計師思考著堂堂的大英帝國是否需要模仿歐陸宮廷、強調對稱秩序的庭園景致;英國因此走出了自己的庭園風格,呈現的是理想化視野下的自然,湖泊和如茵的草地、彎曲的小徑和簇群的植栽,構築成如詩的英國風景畫。

回國後,吳書原獲邀擔任2018台中世界花藝博覽會后里森林園區的策展人。回想1851年史上最早的萬國博覽會就在英國舉辦,是英國國力與價值的宣示。「那台灣有什麼是可以立足於世?應該就是植物的多樣性和世界一流的農改技術了。」吳書原自忖。台灣曾是冰河時期生物的避難所,保留下非常多古老的物種,可說是世界上最重要的物種資料庫和研究基地。

吳書原與植物專家合力研究挑選,在16公頃的后里森林園區內,蒐羅縱跨0到3,000多公尺海拔的物種,呈現物種、地形、氣候的多樣性,打造成微縮地景植物園,也將台灣物種的豐富性推上世界舞台。

台中花博的啟示,也讓吳書原領悟景觀建築師不能再怠惰了,以往台灣公共工程中,景觀植栽僅出現數十種花卉,但台灣島上存有一萬多種植物,原生植物有五千多種,如此豐富的多樣性卻少人聞問。台灣人該多認識這片土地上植物的知識,台灣的景觀園藝,該用自己的原生植物說自己的故事。

自然是都會裡的新式奢華

吳書原經手的設計案中,他總努力把台灣原生種種回來,推介給市民接觸、認識。如台北市「西區門戶計畫:三井倉庫歷史建築景觀設計」,吳書原把時間推到兩百年前,想像當時北門外的樣態,那該是城的外郊,鄰近淡水河,所以設計用城市裡的野地呼應兩百年前的歷史地景,用了許多禾本科植物,當一陣風襲過,迎風飄逸像極了河濱的感覺。

他承接「空總台灣當代文化實驗場C-LAB都市美學公園」,過去是戒備森嚴的空軍總司令部,拆除高築的圍牆,形成寬廣的通道空間,加上仁愛路綠地,比法國的香榭麗舍大道還要寬廣,並能一路延續到集散台北花卉的建國花市,「我以未來台北最寬大的綠色軸帶來想像這個區塊」,吳書原說。空間的綠意由原有的老榕樹、南洋杉、樟木撐起,作為城市的記憶,也提供行人涼爽綠蔭,植栽的造景點綴在流線的路徑旁,創造城市的新荒野;選用許多香草類植栽,如迷迭香、芳香萬壽菊等,可以驅蟲避蚊,輕觸葉片,就能換得滿手馨香,「還有五感的復甦」,吳書原說,「過去景觀設計只重視視覺,但別忘了我們還有嗅覺、味覺、聽覺和觸覺。」

位在松菸北側的「不只是圖書館」花園設計,原本已是荒廢多年的野地,解決基地排水問題後,吳書原在小小的花園裡安置了近百種的植栽,搭配各種台灣原生蕨類,色調以銀灰色為主,再安置簡單的家具,這方角落是在圖書館裡經歷知識洗禮後,可冥想喘息、沉澱心靈的角落。

日前,吳書原搬了新家,位在台北外雙溪的五樓老公寓,四面窗景皆可見綠,爬上六樓頂樓更是別有洞天,環繞的露臺佈滿高高低低的植物,是他一盆盆扛上頂樓才布置好的小森林,「這片森林是我最大的奢華了」。他設計讓盆中有盆,底層種植苔蘚、香草、蕨類等植栽,上頭有灌木、小喬木、大喬木可以遮蔭,層層疊疊,大家一起抵抗屋頂陽光直曬的酷熱。要防止蚊蟲,他在水族箱裡養台灣原生種的蓋斑鬥魚,專吃孓孑。頂樓長成一片森林,蟲兒有棲地,鳥群會來休息,蜜蜂採蜜,蝴蝶授粉,形成一個食物鏈,植物更為蓬勃。「過去的景觀是為了人們的視覺愉悅,但我覺得要從另外一個角度去思考,譬如說如何跟地球的萬物共生共存這件事。」

話鋒一轉,「這次Covid-19,很多人因為隔離,心理出了狀況;以前我們可以自由進出,沒有發現水泥對於人的桎梏,只有當被限制了自由,才發現自然綠意對生活的療癒。」這也是他為北美館設計「異托邦─花園」的初心,走進滿眼綠意的花園,各種植物錯落生長著,吸口氣,襯著外頭的晴朗的陽光、藍天、白雲,「活著真好」之嘆,由心而生。

從感覺自然學習設計

以大溪老茶廠獲得遠東建築老屋改造特別獎,再以「少少-原始感覺研究室」(簡稱「少少」)獲得ADA新銳建築獎特別獎,自然洋行工作室創辦人曾志偉,自成風格的設計語彙讓人一眼難忘。初見他的感覺,也如工作室空間,鐵皮屋平房,植栽、建築模型,還有收藏自南島的老物件等,毫不造作的自然而然。

年輕時期旅行的契機,讓曾志偉著迷於峇里島的自然人文風情,自此開始長年往來兩地,他想探究,自然有什麼魔力?人如何感受自然與原始?因此,他覓得台北外雙溪山上一塊基地,成立「少少-原始感覺研究室」。

想要了解自然,體驗各種原始知覺,「少少」的空間減省了設計的繁贅,把人與自然的隔閡減到最低,黑色遮光網稍微遮蔽陽光、阻絕蚊蟲,架高的空間則是為了解決溫室內熱氣集中,讓熱氣上升,調節溫度。「少少是個『空』的空間,等著各種智慧去填充。」曾志偉說,歡迎各式提案,在空間中實驗,如各種展覽、工作坊主題計畫,甚或婚禮、告別式等,「少少」像是「自然洋行」的資料庫,「過程中我們收集的紀錄跟體會,未來可以運用在設計上。」一如曾志偉所指從感覺自然學習設計的初衷。

人與自然的距離

始終好奇探究自然的曾志偉,談到自然、人、建築的距離,他反倒說:「我覺得如果能有界線區分的話是好的,像峇里島,人和神活動的地方是區隔的,不適合人居住的地方就是神靈之所。」

人類的活動常會侵擾到大自然,所以最好的狀態是不混用,而且人如何跟自然相處,其實首重在人的心靈如何認知自然、接受自然。舉他改造的老公寓「蟲洞住宅」為例,回應業主簡約的要求,曾志偉僅用水庫淤泥回收生產的環保建材塗裝室內,空無一物的空間讓業主一度不適應這暗沉空曠的家,但因為是靠近陽明山區,被周遭的昆蟲、鳥類誤以為是山洞而闖入,業主也玩心大起地拍片紀錄生態,享受其中。曾志偉解釋:「人對自然的承受與否就在一念之間。」自然建築並不是把自然放到房子裡,而是居住其中的人能否接觸自然的原始樣態。

而人與自然間本該有分際,曾志偉為「勤美學-森大」設計的作品,以農業用銀色透光針網做成長達300公尺的環狀廊道,輕度隔離與荒林野地的距離,同時創造一段步行沉靜的時空,聽到蟲鳴鳥叫,肌膚能感受空氣的溫度,與自然似遠若近的距離,透過儀式性的長廊,魅力性的引導,更勾人期待的心理。

今(2020)年曾志偉獲選代表台灣參加第17屆威尼斯建築雙年展(因疫情延期至2021年),他集結數年的作品思考,以「台灣郊遊–原始感覺共同合作場域計畫」為題,回應雙年展主題「How will we live together?(我們將如何生活?)」「我的重點在will,『將』是一個探索,它沒有固定的答案,我們將會怎麼樣?」曾志偉說。

他集結過往數個設計案,除了上述的「少少」和「勤美學-森大」,還有對環境的關切,如「野長城原始知覺研究室」,概念是將備長炭磨碎築成牆面,用以過濾空氣,以應對北京的空氣汙染;有對自身靜默的需求,如位在峇里島的「天然修道院」;或是對未來住宅的想像,「類生態光學冥想屋」是與國內回收玻璃大廠春池玻璃合作,在遭遇極端氣候時,利用回收玻璃和雷電能源,建造可供人類生活的避難小屋;聽著曾志偉講述像是未來世界的情節,建築師創造性地思考人類未來如何在自然中生存的議題。

「我喜歡自然,可是不會拉著大家一起進去。」曾志偉說。「自然與建築的關係可以是心理層面的,是一種認知,是感覺身處大自然環境的氣息,不管它是真、是假,某種意境上,它都在了。」曾志偉說。

人與自然的距離,不用刻意,自然就好。                       

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近期文章

EN

Redefining Our Dwellings

The Boundaries Between Humanity and Nature

Cathy Teng /photos courtesy of Jimmy Lin /tr. by Brandon Yen

Human beings share a nostalgic yearning for nature, but for city dwellers, the bounties of nature can appear out of reach.


How to establish a sustainable relationship with nature is an issue that demands everyone’s attention. It comes as no surprise that the diversity and all-­embracing character of the natural world have inspired architects in various ways.

Telling our story through our native plants

Landscape architect Wu Shu Yuan prides himself on being a graduate of Tunghai University’s College of Agriculture. Wu and his fellow undergraduates in the Department of Landscape Architecture were required to identify individual plants during their exams, just as medical students are asked to identify parts of the human body. This solid grounding in botany would influ­ence Wu’s decision to give pride of place to Taiwan’s native plants when he served as a curator for the Tai­chung World Flora Exposition.

Following his compulsory military service, Wu spent four years working in the industry before traveling to the United Kingdom to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. The UK’s landscape architecture broadened Wu’s horizons. “Major cities like London pay due respect to nature, even living up to the ideal of ‘the city in the garden.’”

Wu explains something of the history of landscape archi­tecture in Britain. He notes that mid-­eighteenth-­century British landscapists rebelled against the con­ventional symmetries that governed European aristo­cratic gardens. As a major imperial power, Britain proudly invented its own style of landscape gardening, informed by an ideal vision of nature: lakes, lush and serpentine green paths, and clumps of plants became the defining elements of a picturesque, quintessentially British landscape.

After returning to Taiwan, Wu was responsible for curating the Houli Forest Park area of the Taichung World Flora Exposition in 2018. “Expositions show off the strengths of a country. What accounts for Taiwan’s global footing? Surely it’s the diversity of our flora and our world-­beating agricultural research and practices,” Wu says. Taiwan has served as a refuge that has enabled animals and plants to survive from the ice ages, as a result of which the island now boasts an abundance of ancient species. We may even argue that Taiwan offers one of the most import­ant data­banks in the world for research on biological species.

In collaboration with botanists, Wu studied and selected species whose habitats ranged from sea level to 3000 meters in alti­tude, exhibiting them in the 16 hectares of Houli Forest Park. Presenting the diversity of Taiwan’s species, topography, and climate in microcosm, this was a botanical landscape garden that celebrated the richness of our island’s flora.

The exposition taught Wu a lesson: as a Taiwanese landscape architect, he has an ardu­ous mission. Taiwan is home to more than 10,000 plant species, of which upwards of 5000 are native species, but few people are aware of this marvelous bio­diversity. Taiwanese landscape architecture should tell Taiwan’s own story through its native flora.

Nature as a luxury

In his projects, Wu always strives to reintroduce Taiwanese native species, so that the public may get to know and enjoy them. A clear example is his land­scaping of the Mitsui Warehouse in Taipei City for the Taipei West Gateway project. Wu began by imagining what it must have been like outside Taipei’s North Gate 200 years ago. As the warehouse originally stood outside the city boundary, Wu has planted many wild grasses around it to evoke the meadows that grew there two centuries ago. Trembling in the breezes, the grasses remind passersby of riverside landscapes.

Wu was also responsible for the Taiwan Con­tempor­ary Culture Lab’s Urban Art Park project at the former Air Force Command Headquarters. The forbidding military walls there have given way to spacious paths. “I conceive of this space as becoming Taipei’s most expansive greenbelt,” Wu says. The place, whose green mood is set by the veteran banyans, hoop pines, and camphor trees, serves as a repository for the city’s memories and provides shade for pedestrians. The verges of the curving paths are adorned with judicious plantings that bring patches of wilderness into the city. Many scented herbs have been chosen which help to repel undesired insects such as mosquitoes. Just a gentle touch will release their fragrance. Wu explains his aim of re­awaken­ing our five senses: “Landscape architecture used to focus solely on visuality, but don’t forget we have other senses too: smell, taste, hearing, and touch.”

The garden outside Not Just Library at the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park was once a derelict place. Its former wildness inspired Wu to aim for a ­primeval style and introduce nearly a hundred different plants into the garden’s narrow space, complete with various Taiwanese ferns. The dominant color is silvery grey. This is a quiet nook where the mind, saturated after a visit to the library, may relax and contemplate.

Wu has recently moved to a flat on the top floor of an old five-story building in Taipei’s Waishuangxi. His windows provide views of greenery, and the open-air space on the roof is a wonderland of plants large and small. Wu sees this green space as his greatest “luxury.” His approach of placing pots within pots gives room to mosses, herbs, and ferns at the bottom and shrubs and trees above. These green tiers shield the roof and the additional room he has built there from the full glare of the sun. In this rooftop woodland, insects have found a home, birds rest themselves, bees collect pollen, and butterflies feed on nectar, forming a food chain and a rich ecosystem. Wu comments: “The raison d’être of landscape architecture used to be its visual appeal, but how to coexist with our fellow inhabitants on the earth is a vital issue we need to address today.”

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, many people living in isolation have experienced mental health problems. Only when our physical freedom is curtailed do we apprehend how suffocating it is to be surrounded by concrete walls, and how revitalizing it is to immerse ourselves in nature,” Wu says. These thoughts have given rise to his contribution to Between Earth and the Sky: The Spiritual State of Our Times, a new exhibition at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. Strolling into Wu’s “Heterotopia Garden,” we are engulfed by a green exuberance of plants of all kinds. Inhaling the fresh air, basking in the warm sunshine, and admiring the blue sky and white clouds, we realize how blessed we are to be alive.

Perceiving nature

Divooe Zein, founder of the architectural firm that bears his name, is known for a repertoire that draws on nature in an idiosyncratic way. His work on the Daxi Tea Factory in Taoyuan won the renovation category of the Far Eastern Architectural Design Awards, and his “siu siu—Lab of Primitive Senses” in Taipei City’s Shilin District earned him an ADA Award for Emerging Architects.

Zein has been visiting the Indonesian island of Bali year after year since he became acquainted with its natural and cultural landscapes when he was young. This is part and parcel of his longstanding interest in the ir­resist­ible charm of nature.

In order to help us understand nature and to sharpen our “primitive senses,” “siu siu” does away with in­essen­tial design elements. Resembling a greenhouse, its ­internal space is covered by black shade cloth, which gives protection from the sun and keeps out mosquitoes. “As an ‘empty’ space, ‘siu siu’ is waiting to be filled by wisdom,” so Zein welcomes proposals for experimental uses of this “lab.” For Zein’s architectural firm, “siu siu” plays an archival role: “The records and insights we gain in the experimental process can be applied to our future designs.” This is in keeping with Zein’s belief that the study of design should be rooted in perceptions of nature. 

The barriers between man and nature

Zein, who is always interested in exploring nature, speaks of the barriers between nature, humanity, and architecture. Contrary to our expectations, he says: “It is good to maintain boundaries.”

True to his belief in the need for barriers, Zein has created a circular walkway for the Forest BIG at CMP Village in Miaoli County. Covered with silver, trans­lucent agricultural netting, and measuring some 300 meters long, the walkway is thinly isolated from the wild, but it provides a tranquil space where pedestrians may enjoy listening to birds and insects while relishing the subtle modulations of temperature in the air. The walkway derives its ritualistic allure from this tantalizingly fluid boundary between man and nature.

This year, Zein was selected to represent Taiwan at the Venice Biennale of Architecture (postponed until 2021 because of Covid-19). Harvesting the creative ideas he has been cultivating over the past few years, Zein has proposed a project entitled “Primitive Migration from/to Taiwan” in answer to the biennale’s theme of “How will we live together?” “My focus is on the modal verb ‘will,’ which suggests tentativeness, rather than demanding an inflexible answer. What will become of us?”

Zein has brought together ideas from several of his creative projects. In addition to “siu siu” and the Forest BIG, there are the environ­mental concerns embodied in his design for the “Lab of Primitive Perception,” which used pulverized white charcoal to build air-­filtering walls in response to Beijing’s air pollution; there is the need for self-imposed silence, which inspired his work for Bali’s “Nature Monastery”; and there is his imagination of future dwellings, which gave birth to the “Semi-Ecosphere Glass House for Isolation and Medita­tion.” For this latter project, Zein collaborated with Spring Pool Glass, utilizing recycled glass and lightning energy to create a shelter for people in the future. Zein speaks eloquently of his idea of the world to come, which has informed his creative engage­ment with the issue of how we will live in nature.

“The relationship between nature and architecture can be psychological: it is epistemological, a process whereby you feel for the spirit that circulates through nature. Be it real or imagined, that spirit somehow exists,” Zein says. The boundaries between man and nature don’t have to be contrived. They can be natural. 

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