Sunken Garden, Observatory Deck Himeji Station Front Plaza Conceptual Design & Supervision
location: Himeji-shi, Hyogo
conceptual design & supervision: Masami Kobayashi / Katushi Nagumo / Tokushi Watanabe
preliminary design: NIKKEN SEKKEI CIVIL ENGINEERING LTD
construction design: FUKKEN ENGINEERRING Co,Ltd
prize: GOOD DESIGN AWARD OF THE JAPAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
Himeji city is well known for the Himeji Castle, the very first world heritage site in Japan. At first, the new urban design image for the front station plaza which the city government announced publicly in 2006 was not welcomed by the citizens. We were called to assist in leading the project smoothly with the citizens’ participation through a process which involved multiple open meetings. Finally we were able to conceive the “Sunken Garden” as the front castle garden, “Observatory Deck” as a window framing the castle, and “Lawn Plaza” where the people’s resting and relaxing was provisioned. Initially, citizens’ interest in the development in front of the station was not very high, but as the planning and construction progressed, the awareness gradually increased, and now the people involved in the area management activities have being showing up.