The serene park – which encompasses nine acres (3.6 hectares) on a hill near downtown Portland – is considered one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan by architect Kengo Kuma.

The garden opened a half-century ago and now draws more than 350,000 annual visitors. Expansion plans were first announced in 2015.

The $33.5 million (£27 million) project calls for preserving existing gardens while adding new structures organized around a central courtyard – a complex referred to as the Cultural Village. The scheme draws references to Japanese gate-front towns that surround sacred shrines and temples. “Given its proximity to nature, Portland is unlike any place in the world,” said Kuma, who founded his Tokyo-based practice in 1990. This new Cultural Village serves as a connector of the stunning Oregon landscape, Japanese arts and a subtle gradation to architecture.

Constructed using Port Orford cedar and Tyvek, which emulates rice paper, the cafe floats in nature and fuses harmoniously into its surroundings beauty.” The village structures have green roofs that absorb rainwater and prevent run-off. “From a design perspective, the living roofs are likened to the thatched roofs of traditional gardens in Japan,” the team said.

The project also entailed relocating the park’s main entrance to the base of the hill, where a new water garden with cascading ponds is meant to aid “in the transition from city to tranquillity”.

“Working with the Garden has influenced my approach to future projects, especially integrating green and wood. For example, the National Stadium in Tokyo will be rich in vegetation, evoking a feeling of forest in the city.” (Kuma)

Two additional gardens were created within the park: a bonsai terrace and a tiny urban garden, or Tsubo-niwa, in the new courtyard.

Kuma designed the new Cultural Village, his first public commission in the US, to honour the singular experience of each visitor and ensure the serenity is protected for future generations.

Izvor: Dezeen, 24/1/2017