Orandajima House Opening Reception

A more extensive post of our now completed Orandajima House and the Opening Ceremony and Party of Saturday 24th May 2014. I try to tell the story in pictures:

The beautiful harbour of Yamadamachi, with a Orandajima or Holland island. The island was renamed to commemorate the historical event of the Dutch ship De Breskens landing in Yamada in 1643. This historical story was later picked-up by Jonathan Swift and used as the basis for his book Gulliver’s Travels. Wiki entry about De Breskens and her crew here (in Dutch)

(Not De Breskens) in the harbour of Yamada machi

A view towards the site from the other side of the bay. The building is on high ground, behind the cluster of buildings in the centre of the picture.

Bird eye view from a surrounding hill looking down towards the building. Ceremonial tent in front.

Details for use at the opening ceremony later: shovels and watering cans for the ceremonial tree planting.

And here worn at work by Nienke Trooster of the Dutch Embassy and Jos van Ruyven, chairman of the Orandajima Foundation The foundation that initiated the building of the Orandajima House.

White gloves are cutting ribbons this time (with brand new scissors). Left to right: Shinitsu Sato, the Mayor of Yamadamchi, Nienke Trooster and Jos van Ruyven.

The logo for the Orandajima Foundation was designed by the world famous Dutch artist Dick Bruna In this picture you can see the contractor installing the sign a few hours before the opening.

Selfie during the opening ceremony.

And here are the end-users! Without a thought the children are playing with the patterns on the artificial grass. Some are jumping over the white stripes, some are rolling around and others are sumo wrestling.

The field is an immediate success!

I’m being interviewed by NHK. They’ll make a short documentary about the process of the project.


Picture of the main contractor and I. Smiles all around.


The children helping the staff of Rational, who donated of the kitchen and supplied the food for the day.


As anticipated, once inside, the little reading room at the back of the building is very popular. Here are the children playing a game of Ganzebord.

TV space

Here are some images of the interiors used in the tv series Girls
The set design is not particularly interesting except for maybe the space of the room of the character Charlie. In the series he complains to his girlfriend (forgot her name, just Google it yourself) that she never has shown any interest in where he lives. It seems that until the second season she has not even been to his room (probably due to production costs most of the characters are kept in one room). But then we see Charlie’s room, and what a man cave it is!

Floor plan of Charlie’s rather spacious room

Sketch of the space designed by the series’ production designer Laura Ballinger Garnder

View of the actual set

Detail of the bed

Orandajima House Presentations in The Netherlands

Our Orandajima House is nearing completion. During mid-April to early May I’ll be presenting about the project in the Netherlands. Come and say hi:

24th April: Presentation Academie Beeldende Kunsten, Maastricht, from 15:00,

27th April: Presentation at the Sieboldhuis in Leiden, from 14:00-15:00

29th April: Exhibition of the project, including drawings, models showing the details and process of the project, at the Japan Cultural Centre in Amsterdam.

30th April: Presentation at ARCAM Architectuurcentrum in Amsterdam (time TBD)

6th May: Presentation at Bouwhuis, Apeldoorn from 20:00


Just a few sketches of the tools I use:


Maruman SS2 sketch book. I have used this sketchbook for over 10 years. I love the creamy paper. Use it not only for sketches but as a scrapbook as well. 

tools 3

For most of my sketches I start with the Staedler pencil, and retrace with an ink pen. The drawings here were made with a 03 UNI Pen which has water proof and fade proof pigment ink. It’s maybe a bit thin, but is pretty good for hatching as well. I like to keep my text in red using the same UNI 03 pen but then in red. The key to pens is how they feel on the paper.

Shadowing is done with a Warm Grey 2 Copic marker. I use Tombow highlight markers in blue, green and yellow for any colouring. Sporadicly I use other Copic marker colours for some additional colouring.

Other tools are post-it notes (generic ones, not 3M) a scale ruler (150mm, not 1500 as I wrote in the drawing), Tombow glue stick and a Staedler 502 pen sharpener.

tools 2