This year the AIAC (L'Atelier International de L'Architecture Construite) is focusing on a site in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, bringing together close to a hundred students from 8 universities around the world, to take on a challenging architectural problem unique to the city. An award will be given to the best project at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in September, and an exhibition will be made in Tokyo at the end of the year to showcase the work.
A SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE FOR LIFE IN CENTRAL TOKYO
In 19th century Tokyo (when it was still called Edo) the community of Nihonbashi was the financial center of a growing megalopolis. Literally translated as “Japan Bridge”, the famous crossing that gave the area its name was also the starting point for measuring all of the roads in japan, making it not only the business center of the country but a serious symbol for an expanding capital city. Ironically the bridge itself was covered by an elevated superhighway in 1964 to modernize the city and to service the Olympic Games, creating the modern vision of Japan where non sequiturs are standard fair and where history is less important than the present. That approach to urbanity notwithstanding, the area has managed to keep some of its original character. Sitting within walking distance of the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Station it contains a mix of homes business and commerce and remains a center especially for economic trade, as the home to Tokyo Stock Exchange. Many of the shops and stores in the area have a particularly long history and represent an important cultural lineage for the city. The area is being redeveloped substantially and there is a recognized need to rethink the shape the city should take into the future, including the by now standard recognition of sustainability, but also a very real concern that this low-lying coastal city be resilient in the face of disaster. The redevelopment is aimed explicitly at attracting a global populace and is part of a bid to host the 2020 Olympics. With this background there is an implicit opportunity to adopt ambitious environmental and social goals that move well past improved energy and resource use and include a response to potential earthquakes and other challenges. The area is ripe for sophisticated architecture that challenges the status quo for the sake of more sustainable and resilient future.
March 5, 2013 Preliminary studio guidelines available
April 11-15, 2013 Field survey and workshop in Tokyo, Japan
September, 2013 Work shop in Paris, FranceFinal studio critic and award ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters
December, 2013 Exhibition of studio works at Tokyo JAPAN (to be confirmed)
The area for this years studio is in the Nihonbashi Muromachi 1-chome Area (the clear area in the image below). Participants are invited to propose an urban transformation such as the creation of an open space or relocation of a street in order to create a specific site for the architectural project, especially with regards to the proposed dismantling of the metropolitan expressway above Nihonbashi River.
From Nihonbashi bridge
Ecole Nationale Superieure D'Architecture DE PARIS La Vilette (France)
Hanyang University (Korea),
Harbin Institute of technology (China)
Gyeonssang National University (Korea)
Università IUAV di Venezia. (Italy)
Keio University (Japan)
TsingHua University (China)
Syenyang University (China)
Local organizers @ Keio university
Yasushi Ikeda, Professor Keio University
Hiroto Kobayashi, Professor Keio University
William Galloway, Project Assistant Professor Keio University
With support from
FORUM8 co. ltd.