Tokyo Replay Center
Architects: Gorka Beitia Zarandona, David Santos Castillo
Status: Academic Competition (2013)
Clasification: 3 prize
Visualizer: Studio
Scale: Medium
Types: Cultural, Mixed use

The aim of this competition was to develop a new leisure center in central Tokyo. The center had to fit with the lifestyle of Japanese society while offering a new method of entertainment designed especially for them. We were asked to locate it in a traditional Japanase empty and narrow plot next to Akihabara’s train station, Akihabara is worldwide know for beeing the central district for new technology, manga and anime in Tokyo.

The plot was aproximately about 15×50 meters long with the two 15 meter facades towards busy streets, and the only requirement was to fulfill the program in less than ten floors height.

The project outwardly follows the urban fabric of Akihabara, but stays hidden inside a large opening of the Tokyo skyline. Aesthetically topped by a mosaic, a plaza surmounts a podium flanked by two emerging towers of stacked zashiki boxes that are incorporated into the multipurpose activity public space between the bar and the kitchens. Located below this level one can find the auditorium – exposition space, and the “otaku market” divided in two floors directly connected to the My Way 2.

The size of each zashiki, a tatami mat room, is determined by the number of tatami mats it contains. In terms of traditional Japanese length units, a tatami’s length is exactly double the width: 6 shaku by 3 shaku = 1.818 m × 0.909 m, the size of a Nagoya tatami (zashiki of 8 tatami mats = 12 shaku × 12 shaku ≈ 3.64 m × 3.64 m ≈ 13.25 m2). The sequence of four adjacent zashiki boxes provides versatility in terms of use: a cosplay party, a tea-ceremony, karaoke sessions… a variety of activities can take place by annexing or compartmentalizing these four units. This band of multimedia spaces is outwardly coated behind the glass, by a sliding fiberboard reinterpretation of the fusuma. It enriches the materiality of a project tailored in detail to the idiosyncrasy of a culture in which their spirits and traditions vividly persist […people around a table… sake sweetening a conversation… a red kettle waiting to be used… tatami shot is ready].

Tokyo Replay Center delimitates a space of calm within the chaos of a city. It generates a void energized by tradition, a redoubt where the mind plays, a refuge of unlimited exchange, opened not only to the materiality of existence but also to the reunion of the spirit. In the same way that the violence of the great wave of Kanagawa contrasts with the serenity of the empty background, the implantation of the towers matches the calm of the empty space: a yin and a yang.

Post date: 28/02/2013 | Views: 4.478