House and garden

This is where we live. The Dutch architects from "de Zanger+Dane" created the awarded design of these houses (ours typed "Captiva"), inspired by the "prairie house" of Franklin Lloyd Wright [B].

Originally there where 7 types of houses, a number that later has been expanded. As, in principle, all changes under architecture are allowed, probably there are no two similar houses in this small "village" integrated with the Flevo Golf Resort, north of Lelystad.

To go to an other view-angle, left or right, douple-click the location when the view-rectangle is shown.

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The aerial photo below shows where and how we are located in the province of Flevoland (aka "the new land" (Dutch only) ) north of the city of Lelystad. This land was taken from the sea in only the previous century, in the decade around 1942.
The photo dates back to 1999, the time that not all houses nor the roads where finished.
On the photo below, our house and garden are located in the area circled in red.


Tsubo-en Groundplan pop-up. View location in Google Maps

Tsubo-en in Google Earth  See the Tsubo-en location in Google Earth.
Flevo Golf Resort (FGR)

More info on the nature in the provence of Flevoland (Dutch only): Het Flevo-landschap

Right and below:
The "prairie house" of Franklin Lloyd Wright.


The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Integration of house and garden

Garden space in Japan is never seen as separated from the interior world of the traditional residence. Instead the garden is linked to the dwelling by means of a Veranda encircling the house. The veranda acts as a transitional space between interior and exterior.
In our garden the term "Integration of house and garden" is used in two ways. One is the fact that we wanted to enjoy the garden from within the house. Taking our climate this is what we do a substantial part of the time. The second aspect was to having fit the house into the garden and vice versa. This brought us to the method and result that is shown in this website.
Integration of house and garden begins in the front garden compartment but is most visible for the residents in relation to the main garden compartment.

When the screens of a traditional tatami room are fully pulled back, the garden is considered to flow into it.
This blurring of the division between garden and house, exterior and interior, is deliberate and is aided by the similar levels of floor, veranda and garden ground and by the absence of a raised sill. In our house we have a number of sliding-doors that come close to the above described. Also we have some large windows that reach to the floor and give the same effect. Like with a traditional Japanese house, the eaves (overhanging roofs) add to the effect of bringing the garden into the house (Note: Lloyd Wright never acknowledged any Japanese influences on his design, he said it was only a confirmation of his work [A] ).

In analogy to the "shoin" or "reading room" architecture [16] that developed in the course of the centuries we regard our living room as the shoin. Like in a genuine shoinzukuri style building, akarishouji like sliding-doors, give entrance to our living room, or its mediaeval forerunner the meeting hall (kaisho).

A prominent feature of the shoinzukuri architecture is the possibility to open almost a whole wall consisting of sliding screens over the full length. Thus allowing an unobstructed full view on the garden scenery. Although not the same, the combination of sliding doors, windows and the sun lounge in our house give a well comparable effect (see: Veranda).

The scenery on the back side of the house is beautiful, so why not create a garden that continues towards this view ? This approach will help the garden feel much bigger and also blur the boundaries with the surrounding scenery, in our case the golf course. During the summer season, at the left, this view is limited to the golf course green and Tee and straight ahead by the trees and bushes. In winter this view continues as far as the dike that protects us of flooding. In Japan this practice of using "borrowed view" or scenery is called: shakkei (see: Borrowed scenery).

Below, a panorama view from the living room into the back and right site of the garden. Although here the lowest level of view is not at garden level it still very much gives a feeling that the garden is one with the room.


A close-up view of the main garden O-karikomi (living sculpture) from the living.
Noteworthy is that the backdrop in its full is composed with borrowed scenery (shakkei technique).
In summer this borrowed scenery is formed by the bushes and trees on the golf course.
In winter it shows as far as the dike that protects us from the, also diked, inner-see (IJselmeer).
Yet an other view of the o-karikomi, now showing more of the interior home.
A shot taken from the same view-point as above, now turned somewhat to the left.
This shows a Tee of the golf course with houses in the far background.
Now tuning to the right, this shows a view on the Buddhist Triad.
View from a position in the connecting corridor.
Same as previous but from a lowered position. The framing results almost in a painting like view.

Also see: Veranda and Paths, Roji for additional related information.

Following are some photo's taken from within the master bedroom ( chuumon).

A view into the garden through the open sliding door.
Yet an other view from the same position.
Now with the sliding door closed.
A view towards the back of the house, showing the golf course tee.

The following photos's show the exterior of the house with most of the windows that where used to create the above integration impressions (exept the master bedroom, chuumon, view).


Also see: The Ginshanada, gravel area.

Slate Roofing

This section may be useful but is something we can currently only dream of. Slate roofing, in the American context, is a very traditional type of roofing. Found extensively in East Coastal and Southern towns of the country, slate roofs provide the house with a certain vintage look that many homeowners seem to savor for the sake of nostalgia. However, nostalgia is not the only reason why slates are still the in-thing when it comes to roofing. There are many other associated advantages, as well.

What are slates?

Slates are, contrary to popular opinion, not manufactured. They are natural sedimentation rocks found in shallow sea-beds all across the East Coasts of the United States. They are metamorphic rocks that are strong yet a tad brittle. They are multi-layered and are formed over thousands of years as the water pressure pressurizes sedimentation layers together in a dense structure (not unlike layers of an onion).

What makes slate rocks particularly attractive in the roofing sense is the fact that they can be cut to precision using special tools by simply fracturing them normal to the angle of their layers. There are two axes of fracture to all slate rocks – along the grain and along the perpendicular. This allows one to fabricate uniform batches of slate tiles with no internal fractures.

Slates are found in many countries, most notably Japan, Brazil, China, Australia and the United States. In the United States, slates are predominantly found in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, parts of Pennsylvania, Georgia and North & South Carolina. In Canada, Newfoundland is a prominent slate producing state.

Slate Roofing

Slate roofing is a conventional method of roofing (predominantly sloping roof). Uniform slate tiles are interlocked and/or interspersed with precision in order to create a mat-like pattern that efficiently and effectively covers the area of the roof. The best feature of slate roofing is that it is very attractive and does not take more than a few hours for small and medium sized roofs (less than 2,000 sq. ft.).

Slate Roofing
Attractive Slate Roofing

Slates have been used for hundreds of years all over the world (especially in coastal areas) for roofing.

Pros and Cons of Slate Roofing

The very fact that slate roofing has been in practice for centuries is good enough to know that the pros of slate roofing far outweigh the cons of the same.

Let’s take a look at the prominent pros and cons of slate roofing.

Pros of Slate Roofing

  • Aesthetics The most prominent advantage of using slates for roofing is that slate roofs have a certain naturally pleasant demeanor to them. A slate roof can render the entire building more attractive with the natural beauty of slates. Slates are often associated with grandeur and that helps in this respect, too.

  • Durability Slates are far more durable than their counterparts (brick shingles, rock shingles, wooden roofs etc.). It is a common sight for us to observe slate roofs on historical buildings, monuments, churches, town houses and museums. In fact, most slate roof fabricators do provide a natural life warranty (notwithstanding destruction by disasters) of 100 years or more.

  • Weatherproof Slate is a rock that has already undergone the harshest of climatic conditions imaginable for thousands of years. These conditions render slate rocks with a characteristically dense structure that is completely waterproof. Slate doesn’t absorb a single drop of water, and hence, can easily withstand rain and snow, without allowing for any seepage whatsoever. Moreover, slate can resist a high temperature gradient, meaning that a high difference in indoor and outdoor temperatures won’t cause slate to contract or expand to the point of breaking, because slate is a very poor conductor of heat. Slate rocks are fire-proof and shock-proof. Hence, they can easily sustain indoor fires, extreme heats and occasional impacts.

  • Low on Maintenance Slate rocks are markedly low on maintenance. Once installed, slate roofing does not require much in the way of maintenance, apart from occasional inspections, washing cycles and collected debris (leaves, dust etc.) removal. 

  • Slates are GreenUnlike many other roofing materials, slate roofs are 100% natural in origin. They are not processed at all, apart from cutting and installing operations. They can last for decades and being natural, do not pose any harm to environment. In fact, using slates is akin to avoiding precious landfill space that would otherwise be used up by alternative roofing materials. 

  • Property Value Addition Because of the all the advantages listed above, an automatic advantage that follows is that a slate roofing can significantly increase the real estate value of a building.

The value addition has, in part, to do with the attractiveness that slate roofing imparts to the building, as well as its durability and longevity.

Cons of Slate Roofing

  • Weight and Stress Slates are highly dense sedimentation rocks. Because of this, they are also quite heavy. A typical slate roof is estimated to exert a load of around 1,000 to 1,500 lbs per sq. ft. on the building in the normal direction. This load is generally higher than what other alternative roofing materials exert. Hence, buildings with sufficient load bearing capacities are the only ones who can house a slate roof. Old constructions are usually advised against having a slate roof for the same reason.

  • Installation Difficulties For an expert slater[4], installing a slate roof may not be a job that entails much complications. However, if not done properly, a slate roof can quickly unravel in efficiency, leaving much more work to be done as maintenance.

  • Expensive Slate roofing is one of the costliest roofing options you can hope to find in America. A regular sea-bed slate roof can cost to the tune of $1,000 per sq. ft. Adding transportation and installation costs to it, building owners can expect to pay at least $1,200 per sq. ft. for a quality slate roofing.

Types of Slate Roofing

Slates used in roofing are commonly classified according to the most obvious of criteria – their color. Besides that, slate roofing (not slates themselves) can be classified into three broad categories:

  • Uniform Slate Roofing Uniform slate roofing, as the name suggests, uses slates of even sizes, colors, textures and patterns to create a highly structured and ordered look. Uniform slate roofing is often used in places of business and public buildings like churches and schools.

  • Graduated Slate Roofing Graduated slate roofing, for the better part of it, is just like uniform slate roofing. However, it is different in the sense that it employs varying sizes of slates at different parts of the roofs. For example, a graduated slate roof will commonly have thicker and stronger slates at the eaves and at the beams, while relatively thinner slates will occupy the body and the top of the roof.

  • Random/Uneven Slate Roofing In random/uneven slate roofing, slates of varying sizes, patterns, colors and styles are employed in a single roof creating a very attractive abstract pattern. Such roofing can be observed in modern buildings that use slate roofing.

  • Types of Slates Following table (table 2) sums up various types of slates widely used in the United States.

Source: Royal Roofing, Slate Roofing.

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