Yokohama competition Honourable Mention
Work title: InterEmbrace
Our concept for the Osanbashi pier is to architecturally manifest the gesture of welcoming. The shape was inspired by the duality concept of “Niwaminato.” It can be understood as two halves, which start from opposite ends of the pier and move towards one another, intertwining at the center and separating again. These two halves each represent dual aspects of the Osanbashi pier, and the city of Yokohama: local and international, village and cosmopolitan, garden and field. Where the form turns, different vantage points are created, so that users can appreciate multiple views of the city, the sea, and the pier. The triangulated grid produces a comprehensible structure, which allows different degrees of opening or closure uniformly and visible connection between the interior and exterior. The dual forms can also be read as the flows of the two primary user groups as they move through the pier, the visitors coming from the sea and the residents coming from the shore. Where the two forms intersect, the two groups meet to form one collective. Part of welcoming visitors is making it simple for them to orient themselves, therefore, the highly legible form clarifies navigation on the interior, further reinforcing the gesture of welcoming. Just as the interior spaces generate different levels of separation or collectiveness, the gardens, created within the apertures, also have this inherent duality represented through varied levels of viewing and occupying. However, while the form of the building is locked in an everlasting moment of embrace, the different types of gardens present within the building have a unique opportunity to grow and transform as time passes, allowing the viewers experience of the building to change after every visit.
The isometric method of representation is inspired by the Edo period of Japanese art. This form of representation has an innate ability to expose and lay bare what is being depicted but also to emphasize a particular view. The side of the pier that is highlighted in the drawings is devoted to serving the citizens of Yokohama. Committed to maintaining the stunning views of the city only small boats are allowed to dock in this pier. By restricting the size of the vessels docking on the pier, the citizens in Yokohama also have a clear view of their pier welcoming its visitors. Our drawings depict the welcome gesture as a series of embraces. In the greater urban context, the city of Yokohama embraces the pier and the pier returns the favor by welcoming the citizen through an unencumbered path to the center of pier. At a more local level, the Osanbashi pier embraces the ships. Large ships like the Queen Elizabeth II act like floating cities, and when the ship docks, it is physically enveloped by the pier, such that the two cities are united. Once the visitors enter the pier, it embraces them. As the visitors move through the interior spaces, the people of Yokohama embrace them. The act of welcome is manifested on urban and individual scales.