Takarazuka, where I was born and raised and still have my office today, is known as a city built despite tremendous obstacles. The Mukogawa River, which flows through the city center at a conjunction of active fault lines, was a notoriously raging torrent. Takarazuka only exists today because of countless re-channelings of the river by our forebears, who somehow managed to turn the area into livable land. They built earthwork dams and other means of flood control and river re-channeling, known as sabo, a word that originated here and has gained international currency. For this site, I made a proposal combining landscaping that conveys the area’s legacy of taming water and architecture that is quintessentially Takarazuka in appearance.
Taking note of the height differential within the site, which testifies to the geological history of the region, I sought both to preserve and to capitalize on existing elements of the site by superimposing new landscape while retaining the old. To the greatest possible extent, the proposal seeks to maintain the landforms, trees, and structures already at the site, which embody its historical memory. The concept is to superimpose on them a new group of structures and nexus of routes, floating above the earth on piloti, which keep the landscape on the ground intact while transforming its appearance and significance.
The architectural design is intended not only to be elegant, but also to honor and celebrate the unwritten design code that has become so firmly entrenched in Takarazuka, notably Mediterranean elements such as red tiled roofs. Arches, another pervasive feature of the city’s structures, are employed as a motif, abstracted in a manner that effectively combines architectural populism and sophistication.
|location||Takarazuka City, Hyogo|
|principal use||Gallery, library, cafe, garden, play park etc.|
|total floor area||2,810m2|
|structure|| reinforced concrete