Okazaki City Plaza
Nagoya International Design Competition, Japan
special judges award
This international competition call for Okazaki City Plaza was focussed on the rehabilitation and renewal of a worn urban public square that contained a historical residence and shrine at one end of the existing plaza, but separated by a one-way street.
The context around the edges of the square had evolved into lack lustre office buildings and a shopping centre with difficult pedestrian circulation to and from the plaza.
The brief called for urban interventions that would create a visual landmark by which pedestrians in the core could visually orient themselves, provide a connected but open air elevated sidewalk network linking access to the square and buildings above and across the complicated street network, and formalize and strengthen the relationship of the heritage residence and shrine to the square. The brief called for proposals to add public program elements that would create a more park like and hospitable public urban space.
The proposal re-created site edges for the square to more formally contain the space in a long axial rectangle. A lawn soft space created one edge with a bermed area for a small short term supervised Daycare for shoppers. A short stay 5 story Hospitality pavilion formed the opposite edge of the square providing respite. The street was closed joining the heritage residence and shrine to the square proper. A public art steam and LED sculpture provided a visual landmark and reference point for the square in the city core.