Yokohama competition Honourable Mention
Work title: Upon Arrival: Mediating Cultural Connections through an Adaptation of Japanese Gardens
Good approach to the port flows, generating an attractive public space for the city. Formal strategies are weak
Terminal programs often lack connections to the sense of place within which they exist. To counteract this, we chose to strengthen the association of the terminal as an introductory vehicle for Japanese society. In order to link the pier to critical aspects of its cultural context, the proposal draws from strategic and tactical relationships set forth by Japanese Gardens.
The initial move was to place an entry path from the city to the terminal level. This path acts as the primary facilitator for the expedient flow of visitors and passengers to and from the port terminal while integrating major social spaces along its length.
In the interest of participating in the dramatic nature of the horizon, we maintained the given flat expanse of pier. We selected a few strategic points for which to shift the section: the gallery, the rooftop restaurant, the foyer, and the sloped roof garden. These areas begin to more aggressively interact with multiple levels, allowing for unexpected visual and spatial confrontations. Said zones also serve to emphasize relationships between the city and port, its citizens and travelers, expansive spaces and isolated enclosures, as well as interior and exterior conditions. Lowered in section and set back from the terminalʼs front edge, the gallery indicates its presence to visitors while simultaneously acting as a volumetric threshold for travelers and visitors alike.
Several garden zones are embedded within the project that mediate between user groups and programmatic needs. These dispersed gardens range in scale from large public gathering spaces to those more suited for a single individual. Derived from techniques found in Japanese gardens, a layering of secondary and alternate circulation routes accompany the main entry path. The separation of vehicular and pedestrian access, as well as the slippage of terminal spaces beneath visitor zones, allow for different user groups to reach their respective destinations. Ramps connect the parking area, court garden, visitorʼs deck, and the C.I.Q. for direct access by passengers. In order to further integrate the aforementioned social spaces which shift in section, elevator access is provided to the foyer, salon, departure hall and gallery. Additionally, two ceremonial stairs link the parking, terminal, and visitor levels at either end of the port.
The Gardens: From Public Space to Private Sanctuary
Within the project, a number of Japanese garden types were selected and reconceptualized to become architectural elements. They demarcate thresholds between water and land, the pier and the city, circulation paths, and significant programmatic shifts. Included in the design are the following: an entry ramp with stepped garden terraces, a court garden with a moss wall, a rock garden, a gridded plot roof garden, a sloped park that faces the bay, and a water garden with stepping stones.
While these gardens are, in fact, singular and unique entities within the design, one could also interpret the entire project as a Shinden strolling garden in which the visitor is led through a variety of interconnected garden spaces both physically and visually.