Topographical Healing

1995 -

The three concept models for the project “Topographical Healing” are all produced using rubble from the 1995 earthquake. Sited in the civic center on the left bank of the Ashiya River flowing through the Hanshin great earthquake-stricken city of Ashiya, the proposal takes the entire volume of concrete and dirt shaken up in the city; whatever can be salvaged of ruined buildings, and lays it down thick and thin, wide and narrow to create a massive memorial embankment extending some 2.5km from the mountains down to the sea. That is a formative “homage” to the otherwise invisible faults and strata. The idea of using debris to shape the terrain is itself not so very outlandish. St. Petersburg, for instance, reputedly “the most abstract, artificial city in the world,” was built upon marshlands at the mouth of the Neva River: the landfill came from rubble of the 1666 Great Fire of London ferried over the course of a half century. Similarly, the city of Venice was constructed on some 100 thousand pilings cut from the forests of the Veneto; upon the very corpse of the woodlands.

location Ashiya City, Hyogo
principal use Memorial
total floor area 21ha