Buildner Architecture Competitions has announced the results of its Tokyo Urban Meditation Cabins competition. The contest called for design proposals for a meditation cabin prototype that could be replicated and placed in various sites across Tokyo.
“The cabins should serve as a small public sanctuary where people can take a break from the noise of urban life,” the organizers said. “Participants were asked to explore how architecture can function as a therapeutic tool and to design a small tranquil space in the otherwise stressful environment of the dense and chaotic city.”
The winning schemes have been republished below.
First Prize and Buildner Student Award Winner: Shinrin-Yoku by Debora Di Francesco and Doni Hallko (University of Camerino, Italy)
Excerpt: “Shinrin-Yoku is a proposal for a narrow, semi-circular reflective form that is accessed along its long axis through a small side opening. Its namesake uses a Japanese term for ‘baths in the forest’ and the project is designed as a protective shell containing an immersive natural interior space where one can spend a few moments escaping the city. The ‘cabin’ houses a small vertical garden and a swing; it is, in fact, the pendular movement of the swing that drives the project’s clean geometric form: in the longitudinal direction it is a semicircle and in the transverse direction an A-shape relative to the location of the seated human body.”
Second Prize: Tranquillizing the Void by Koh Noguchi, Javier Arés, and Juan Pablo Lopez Isabella (UK)
Excerpt: “Tranquilizing the Void makes use of the urban voids that are ubiquitous in Tokyo, a byproduct of the city’s constant flux of demolition and reconstruction. The cabin design draws from the typical Japanese lantern, a modest timber structure assembled using Japanese joinery and dressed in a waterproof fabric. By using timber, such a temporary space could be constructed in even tight and hard-to-access spaces.”
Third Prize: A Riot of Calmness by Leo Liu (China)
Excerpt: “A Riot of Calmness is a proposal for a flexible structure of vertical elements, resembling a bamboo forest, within which is planned a linear path for pedestrians. Like bamboo, the elements bend to various degrees according to the depth of their ‘roots’ or foundations. Transparent industrial plastic pipe is used here in lieu of natural bamboo, to create a sort of man-made nature in tune with the urban environment.”
Buildner Sustainability Award: Chiaroscuro by Vincent Gillot, Gregoire Vizzari, and Leonor Mayoux (France)
Excerpt: “Chiaroscuro is a proposal for an intentionally darkened space, isolated, a space for the mind to rest from the onslaught of visual stimuli of the city. Its design draws both from the choir of a chapel and a tea room - two ‘sacred’ spaces for focus and silence. Flowers placed in a small daylit alcove place the focus of the space in the temporality of nature. The result of its location produces a chiaroscuro effect like that of a painting, a spot of color and light amidst relative darkness, removing one’s sense of spatial dimensions.”
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