Japanese architect, Sou Fujimoto has revealed plans for a new community centre Hida Furukawa Station Eastern Development, located adjacent to Hida Furukawa Station, Hida City, in Gifu Prefecture.
The circular-shaped building will include a university research base, student accommodation, an all-weather playing field and commercial outlets. Sou Fujimoto has envisaged a green roof that is open to pin a shape of a ‘bowl’ on top of this building called as ‘Utsuwa plaza’.
Utsuwa is the Japanese name for bowl or vessel — shapes that resemble the top of the building. The centre is placed adjacent to the building, making it easily accessible, opening it towards the city.
According to Sou Fujimoto, “The unique architectural space will give visitors a better awareness of the majestic Nature of Hida. The project also aims to stimulate tourist numbers and improve circulation throughout the city. Its clustered functions will come together to invigorate and enhance Hida City and secure its brighter future.”
The building is located on a 21,300 sq.m. site, close to the proposed Hida Takayama University, which is also being designed by Sou Fujimoto. The intention of the architect is to connect the two structures, completing each other seamlessly while generating vibrancy and curiosity among visitors.
Sou Fujimoto explains that the shape of the roof is inspired by the traditional town space of Hida. The building will act as an extension of the street that crisscrosses the town, allowing visitors to continue their journey as they make their way to the terrace for a unique perspective of the city.
The vibrancy in and around the building will further be enhanced through various pop-up functions and activities that will take place from time to time.
“Tradition and future, diversity and convergence, individual and group, Nature and artifice, exposure and protection, will all come together. The Utsuwa is an intimate room, but also a vast mound framing the sky in its changing seasons, with a terrain continuing to the Hida mountains. It will be a stage where activities blend, like instruments in an orchestra of ideas,” said Fujimoto.