Thursday, May 10, 2007
Golden Week:Ando Architectural Pilgrimage
Jun and I flew back into Kobe after our quick whirlwind trip to Hokkaido, stored our luggage at some random dry cleaning shop for the day, and then took the subway to a bus station where we caught a bus to Awaji-shima (Awaji Island).
I have felt a little guilty for not doing much architectural traveling since I have been in Japan, but a fellow JET/ architectural grad (thanks Lliam!) clued me into Ando's Yumebutai (2000).
The Yumebutai a fairly new mixed-use complex (gardens, hotel, chapel, conference center, restaurants, etc.) built on a hillside by the sea as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the massive Kobe earthquake of 1995. In typical Ando style, all the concrete work was clean, smooth, and precise. Despite the stark coolness of the concrete and glass, the place was alive with families, fountains, and flowers. Thousands of scallop shells lined the bottom of the shallow pools while thousands of flowers bloomed in the terraced gardens.