Kikuchi pocket park, Kumamoto Landscape, Japanese Public Realm Design

Kikuchi-city Urban Realm Development, Kumamoto

Kumamoto Park Project, Japan landscape design by Takao Shiotsuka Atelier

16 Dec 2009

Kikuchi pocket park

Experiments in modern architecture and landscape

Building type: pocket park
Location: Kikuchi-city, Kumamoto, Japan
Architect: Takao Shiotsuka / TAKAO SHIOTSUKA ATELIER
Project year: 2009-10
Completion due: 2011

Three small parks are made in an old downtown with a long history.

The history and the environment (region) each place are made a clue, and we try the creation of an architectural experiment and a new landscape.

Visitors wander walking in three parks. It is the purpose to make person’s flow over the town from such an act. It is a requirement in each park to install “Footbath” of the hot spring.

Site A
Kikuchi pocket park Kikuchi pocket park Japan Kikuchi pocket park Kumamoto

It plans as a water park using the waterway over the whole town.
Ground becomes hollow, and the puddle is generated. Three basins are made referring to the appearance.
The public lavatory, the bench, and the shelter, etc. are arranged like the stone and the rock, etc. of being in surroundings in the puddle.

This looks like manners of an old Japan rock garden (In the Ryuan-temple in Kyoto, the method “To feel water, drain it” was adopted). Then, it tries to acquire the identity of this place by producing “Original first scenery” like “Dry landscape garden” of China in the rock garden that is the motif.

Site B
Kikuchi pocket park Kikuchi pocket park Japan Kikuchi pocket park Kumamoto

This park is located in the corner plot of the median center and the intersection on site A and site C. “Flow” is a theme here. Waterway over town? coming and going people, history of town, etc..
“Bank” that bends and piles up steel pipe of galvanizing.

This swallows functions of a public lavatory, the shelter, the bench, and the footbath, etc. and shape like the whirlpool is drawn on the entire site while transforming it.
These become person’s actual movement and guide of activity.
The bank is an expression as ruins in the theater that existed in this place before.

Site C
Kikuchi pocket park Kikuchi pocket park Japan Kikuchi pocket park Kumamoto

This park is located in the Shinto shrine front yard.
And, it is a history preservation district.
It was necessary to construct the space for the footbath and the hand wash station(It means the purification before a shrine is visited. ) and the child sumo wrestling(For the dedication to the Shinto shrine).

The spectacle in the district and the object that becomes familiar and becomes the symbol of the district are set up while including those functions. The pergola makes a big tree a motif.
It reproduces “Sacred tree” in an old Japan Shinto shrine.
Rain is not interrupted though the entire site is covered with it. And, the falling shadow visualizes this place.

Common theme to three parks was to have produced original “Movement of the place” respectively.
Movement over three basins. Movement to trace bank of pipe. Movement to install mainly object of gigantic tree.
Up to now, they have caused the movement of the body that was not able to be experienced in the town. And, the continuousness of a new scene is born.

This project is one of the KUMAMOTO ARTPOLIS.
We were nominated as a designer by Toyo Ito, one of the world’s most innovative and influential architects, is now KAP fs present Commissioner.

KUMAMOTO ARTPOLIS : Architecture through Communication

A bold breakthrough in structural design; a public urban planning program that transformed Kumamoto, a humble prefecture south of Japan, into a museum of contemporary architecture.

KAP strives to enhance Kumamoto fs culture via architecture. It envisions Kumamoto to be a global centre of beautifully designed buildings, representative of Japan fs contemporary architecture. In particular, they wanted to develop local communities so that succeeding generations may benefit from a higher quality of living, and to motivate the people (including local residents and young talented architects) to participate in all aspects of the planning process.

Kikuchi pocket park images / information from Takao Shiotsuka Atelier 161209

Location: Kikuchi-city, Kumamoto, Japan, East Asia

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