▼城市街道与项目概览，view of the city street and this project ©Montse Zamorano
Ichikawamisato (Yamanashi Prefecture) suffers many of the typical problems of contemporary regional Japan. With a declining population and an increasing suburbanization and sprawl, the urban core has lost its vitality. Originally the municipality followed a compact built-up configuration, with a shopping street extending from the station. Nowadays train users have decreased dramatically, and the small shops have almost disappeared as big box stores in the outskirts absorbed all commercial activities. People have come to depend completely on the car for their everyday life and parking space has taken up exterior space around shops and houses. With few people walking on the streets, this car-based lifestyle discourages spontaneous encounters and weakens the sense of community.We were approached by a local barber shop to renew and improve his business. With a limited budget we proposed an intervention that could potentially increase customers and improve the image of the business, but also actively contribute to the community. We reorganized the exterior space into a more compact parking configuration to offer a public terrace to the community.
▼理发店外的坑洞平台，the pit terrace outside the barber shop ©Montse Zamorano
▼建筑师邀请居民一同种植植被，建立居民与植物之间的联系， the designers invited neighbors to plant the vegetation with them and make the locals feel attached to the plants © Jorge Almazán Studiolab
Designed as a reflection of the wooden pattern of the existing white façade, the terrace feels as a continuity of the existing building. A collective bench and a garden, it integrates pits of several sizes to accommodate vegetation and people, who can sit in different orientations and in close proximity to plants. People can sit in small groups facing each other in the pits, or they can sit alone, keeping their privacy by looking out in different directions. The terrace surface can also be used as a table or to lay down. With different species, sizes and positions and acquiring different colors throughout the year, plants express and encourage this diversity of use and create soft boundaries between zones in the terrace. In a festive opening workshop we invited neighbors to plant the vegetation with us. We hope that locals will feel attached to the plants they helped to plant and will be taking care of them in their everyday life.
▼大小不一的坑洞种有不同种类、位置、大小且颜色四季变化不同的植被，different pits with plants in different species, sizes and positions and acquiring different colors throughout the year ©Montse Zamorano
▼人们在这里可以围坐在一起也可以独自朝向不同方向坐着，People can sit in small groups facing each other in the pits or they can sit alone ©Montse Zamorano
▼植被鼓励人们在这里进行多样化的使用并在区域之间塑造一个柔软的边界，plants express and encourage this diversity of use and create soft boundaries between zones in the terrace ©Montse Zamorano
This is a tiny intervention, but our intention is to create a precedent of reconquering parking space and induce an increased awareness of the importance of exterior spaces for socialization. Since its construction the terrace has prompted DJ events and barbeques, and has become an integral part of the local life. In car-dominated regional Japan, we hope to disseminate through this project a different approach to exterior space and encourage neighbors to install semi-public areas within their sites to increase communication and mitigate the lack of spontaneous encounters.
▼细节，detail ©Montse Zamorano
▼植被及平台活动分析，plants and activities analysis
Architects: Jorge Almazán Architects + Keio University Almazán Lab
Location: Ichikawamisato, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
Type:Public space design
Design team: Jorge Almazán, Gaku Inoue, Shota Takayama, Ken Tamura, Yuri Oikawa, Ayaka Sakai
Construction: Endo Kenchiku
Area: 23 m2
Client: Hair Salon Kasai