Building a community spirit

Friday 09 Jul 2010

New pavillions in Osaka form a focal point for the Aqua Metropolis festival and for community involvement

"Aqua Metropolis Osaka 2009” is a festival and celebration of water, held in the Nakanoshima sandbanks at the centre of Osaka, Japan. The festival is proposed as an exchange between artists and citizens. There is a plaza which is covered with bamboo and featuring seven plywood huts. Osaka becomes the 'aqua metropolis', and this design aims to build a relationship between the site and the local area in Osaka through the network of the water.

Six wooden 'Collins huts' are used for workshops during the festival, all parts of which are made from wood salvaged after thinning the wild forests in Wakayama, next to Osaka. These huts are composed of geometric forms in a Collins system, and are temporary structures that can be taken down and moved easily.

The 'folded-plate huts' are made from the same reclaimed material, and allow people to get closer to the water through their overhanging form, stretched out towards the river. Wooden sandwich panel method was adapted for this structure.

The 'bamboo forest' is the framework of the roof, again constructed using reclaimed material from the nearby wild bamboo forest. Many of Osaka's citizens and students joined the architects in the process of building the bamboo forest, from cutting the bamboo to helping with construction in the field.

The architects have made a primitive space using only strong 'human power', low technology natural materials. After the structures are no longer needed, all the bamboo will be recycled and used for Japanese paper.

The structure has been designed as an 'architectural action' to connect between the local area and people through the experiences such as the procurement of material, the construction and the event itself. Moreover, they have created an unforgettable scene in the collective mind of the Osaka people, in the midst of an era overflowing with consumer culture.

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