Fukushima Dai-ichi Sakae Nuclear Plant

2013 -


It was necessary in order not to forget. At the very least, I felt fear at the thought of people not knowing. I refer to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant and the accident that occurred there. This was what prompted me to create a 1:1 scale drawing of the reactor building. 
The process of tracing the reactor blueprints over many hours, along with a large team of volunteers, reminded me of the devotional copying of sutras. In architecture education, students learn many things by copying blueprints, and indeed there were some things I realized for the first time when I traced the reactor blueprint. An imaginary point called a reactor core is the point of origin around which the power plant as a whole is designed. Architecture here is subservient to the needs of the machines, the reactors that the structures house. Rather than designing buildings and installing reactors inside them, we build reactors and then erect structures around them. Properly speaking, this is not architecture. I feel it has a tinge of the macabre, as if we are not merely accommodating machines, but ministering to a group of malevolent gods.
More than anything, it was the massive scale of the Sakae venue that inspired me to transfer the outlines of the reactor building at actual size. The unique interior layout of the Aichi Arts Center, with its two large atriums linked in crank-like formation and each floor extending out into space like a balcony, provides an ideal vantage point from which to take in the overall cross-sectional view of the reactor building, marked out in tape on the floors, walls, and ceiling. At architectural production sites, full-scale 1:1 blueprints of the proposed structure are sometimes drawn on the floor of a gymnasium-like space to consider how steel-frames and other materials will fit. This is where a virtual blueprint gains physical substance and comes to life. For this project, the Aichi Art Center was perhaps the only space that could have housed a full-scale blueprint of the nuclear power plant.

location Aichi Triennale 2013 / Aichi Arts Center (Nagoya City, Aichi Pref.)
principal use installation
exhibition date 2013
total floor area 16,791m2
Total length of the yellow/red tape 8 km
Materials / techniques Plastic tape / thermal compression bond, plastic sheet, expanded polystyrene, foamed polystyrene, sealant backup rod, acrylic resin coating