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2nd prize in Invited Student Competition :

An Endless Path

November 2013 - April 2014

About the Competition:

Productive Garden ─ A Space for Enjoying Hokkaido with All Five Senses

Taiki-cho, Hokkaido, Japan, is an area of expansive grasslands and wetlands where people can enjoy both the greenery of summer and the snows of winter. In Taiki-cho, people engage in farming and other activities in harmony with nature and the seasons, producing a cornucopia of delicious and nutritious food such as wild vegetables in the spring and salmon, venison and assorted fruit in the fall. Preparing and eating fresh food in these uniquely beautiful natural surroundings is a reminder of what it means to be alive, as well as an opportunity to think about our relationship to the environment. This project is intended to capitalize on the existing natural beauty of Taiki-cho, with additions or modifications as necessary. Please prepare a scenario for interaction with the natural environment, adding whatever contrivances as required. The goal is to create a space that draws visitors by appealing to all five senses, offering nature walks, scenery for gazing, dining, and more. For this 4th competition centered on the theme of the environment, the participating universities will post their research and drawings from the early design phase to completion. By sharing ideas of the same topic on Facebook, students from around the world will gain exposure to a wide range of values and perspectives that are shaped by local cultural and geographic conditions. The continuous interaction on the designated Facebook page should increase possibilities for producing new ideas of sustainability.

Participating Universities: 

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (Norway)

Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands)

Politecnico of Milan (Italy)

Liebniz University Hannover (Germany)

University of California, Berkeley (USA)

The University of Utah (USA)

Tongji University (China)

National University of Singapore (Singapore)

Bandung Insitute of Technology (Republic of Indonesia)

The University of Tokyo (Japan)

Tokyo University of Agriculture (Japan)

Hokkaido University (Japan)

Project Description:

Our proposal is an architectural vision of how to operate the whole of Memu Meadows and develop it into the future. We propose to create a strong ‘productive centre’, an orchard, within the figure of the existing indoor horse track, where visitors can grow vegetables, fruits and flowers. building is concentrated in the west part of the site while the east is an open landscape, to be discovered and enjoyed by visitors during all seasons in all its richness.

The construction we propose is a path connecting the ‘productive garden’ in the centre with the open oval area, enlarging it even into the wild river space and into the almost endless landscape of Hokkaido. In this landscape we plan to grow some very precise  arrangements of vegetation. We also propose to install a basic kitchen in the existing horse track building. The idea is that visitors can pick fruits and vegetables in the garden, prepare food and then find a place along the path to eat and enjoy the surrounding nature. People can also bring their own picnic or simply buy some food in the restaurant and take it with them on their journey.

The path is elevated from ground and is partly covered with a roof. it invites people to experience the richness of the local landscape and vegetation, through the changing seasons. offering various sensations and places to discover, sit down and enjoy. Along the path people can find places where they can meet other people, places to buy local products, places to hold ceremonies, places to make fire and grill, and places where one can simply be alone in nature.

The path consists of a few simple and precise constructions: an entrance gate, a smaller roof that leads you into... a bigger covered space, which could be used for ceremonies and gatherings, a viewing platform towards the river and wetlands and a gate at the end of the path. The whole structure is composed of standard wooden members with a section of 105x105mm and a length of 3.6m. These members are joined in the most direct way with stainless steel screws to form a floor, columns and roofs. To form elements that create
the architectonic space of the path. The foundations are made with screw piles. These are easy to install and have a low impact upon the existing nature. Using a minimum of technology, we propose a very basic and archaic structure, creating timeless architectonic expression. The construction is inspired not only by traditional japanese architecture but also by rural norwegian constructions. This is a sustainable example is a so called ‘fish flake’, a scaffolding on which to dry cod, that has been used for centuries and is still built and in use today. The additive nature of our project makes it possible to build over time. In the open landscape, just a few areas are initially planted in a precise way. All plants are local. They are chosen and arranged according to their times of growth and blossom. The idea is to create an evolving composition all through the year. In this way, the site becomes a register of the ecological bio-diversity of Hokkaido. Around these planned areas, visitors are invited to plant in a more random way. They can buy young plants or
seeds at the counter close to the restaurant. Then choose their favourite place for their own plant. They can care for this plant
during their future visits and follow its growth year after year.


Young Eun Choi, Juliane M Eide, Mercè Lorente Gras, David Kennedy, Niklas Lenander and Pedro Sjøblom Tavares 


Neven Fuchs-Mikac, Thomas McQuillan and Raphael Zuber

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