watermelon place

As a complement to the Bus Shelter extension, which is a winter facility, the team decided to build a cooling place for the summer season. Diagonally across the street from the Bus Shelter is an unused pond for spring water. It is the only remaining feature of Michi’s house, which was relocated for road-widening. Our objective was to reopen this forgotten reservoir for public use, as a site for the picture-frame bench, and to reestablish links with the other ponds.

There is a small corner in the village where the main road forks into two paths, one leading up to the vegetable fields, the other to the valley.This is the spot where elderly women stop for a break on the way home from their fields – a place where they can put down their laden baskets and rest.This usually takes place around 4 pm.

An overgrown edge of the hill was reshaped into a stepped topography, using sandstone as retaining walls. This established a direct connection to the reservoir 2.5 m above the main road level. A platform placed 20 cm above the reservoir allows people to sit and dip their feet. An extended part of the platform became the roof that covers the corner where the elderly women place their vegetable baskets. The new plumbing for the forgotten reservoir also provided a water supply for this extension, feeding a deep wooden sink for watermelon. The team recognised that watermelon, a fruit often to be shared, plays an important part in summer socialising. While the villagers are working in the field, this renewed and extended pond keeps the watermelon cool – a refreshing treat for the workers after a long day in the fields. It also operates as a drinking tap for passers-by.