m ut ab l e wa ll
E mma Hi ck s
s30 5 2 2 5 0
c ontent s
i nt rod u ct i on
r e-t hi n k i n g t he wa ll
m ob i l it y a n d f lex i b i l it y
to po g r a phy as d efen c e
wa l l a s f i eld
test i n g for m t hro u g h m o del s
a xon om et r i c s
Rather than thinking of the sea wall as a large cement defensive structure extending out into the water, how might the wall be fragmented and strategically embedded into site while making use of vernacular architecture and therefore local knowledge and resources? How then might the building and ongoing use and maintenance of the “wall” become something that contributes a sense of pride and to the local identity in Shibitachi while maintaining a connection with the sea?
The wall here is conceived as a useable, functioning public space that creates a potential civic focus for the everyday life of the town rather than a structure that is only used during a tsunami event. The walls position on higher ground makes use of the topography as a natural defence. The sea wall instead becomes something human scale and highly detailed to integrate into site. Something of a setback promenade with views and paths down to the water it marks the distinction between land likely to be ﬂooded again in the future, while also opening up and deﬁning evacuation routes to higher ground. By adapting the local stonewall materials and construction methods and by employing and training local people to work on the construction, the investment of rebuilding can have lasting beneﬁts for the Tohoku area and build on self-reliance In a long-term view for the town I propose re-housing the community within Shibitachi after another disaster event. By rehousing within the town the people are given a better chance to maintain community connection at a time when it is needed. The re-housing model can evolve from a more temporary structure into something more permanent over time. Rather than rebuilding on the foreshore the town is rebuilt in a more concentrated way on higher ground. The foreshore becomes a place of open public space, gardens, ﬁshing and light small-scale agriculture. Necessary low-lying buildings are built within the cycles of a tsunami and are expected to need reconstruction post tsunami. Infrastructure, buildings and homes, which require greater investment of time and money and are central to towns operation, are concentrated on higher ground. The vegetable plots and garden spaces that become site of new housing are relocated to lower ground and organized into a more formal community garden. 01.
Building new direct connections to Tokyo. By by-passing the middle man restaurants can garantee income for the ďŹ sherman while keeping their prices low. These more personal connects help to build relationship between Tokyo and Shibitachi.
Re-thinking the wall...
so li d att a ck
m ut a b le wa ll
f r a g m ented d efen c e
proj e ct i o n
emb edd ed
bl oc k i n g
r et r eat i n g
dis aste r act i vated occas iona l u se To k yo l ar ge co mpa n i es cent r a l i z ed
d a i ly a ct i vat i o n ever yd ay u se S hi b it a c hi/ To ho ku l oc a l k n ow led g e s elf r eli a n c e
Mobility and flexibility
The initial group design work in Japan looked at how mobility and ďŹ‚exiblity might improve resilience for an uncertain future .
SHUKUURA KARAKUWA BABA
We looked at how Shibitachi sits in relation to the Karakawa peninsular and beyond this to wider japan.
Some of these initial ideas and research continued to infrom my work through the remainder of the semester
LEGEND EVACUATION ROADS PROPOSED NEW RADIAL ROADS
FISHING INFRASTRUCTURE THRESHOLD MOBILITY VAN PARKING PREVIOUS MAJOR TSUNAMI THRESHOLDS NEW HOUSING RECLAMATION AREAS RECLAMATION VEGETATION
To p o g r a p h y a s d e fe n c e
30 mts Strategic re-building can make use of topography to reorganise the buildings. 25 mts The more temporary, experimental and inexpensive infrastructure or buildings are on lower ground, while residential, community buildings and more expensive industrial buildings that provide the community with work are on the higher ground further from the threat of tsunami. Over time the higher ground becomes more densely populated and built up while the foreshore area provides open public space. The rehousing of locals within the community after the tsunami helps to maintain community bonds and is conceived as long term rather than temporary rehousing. A solid yet basic foundation is built that can be added to and altered over time, leaving room for individuals to add to and alter the hosing to suit them . 07.
post 2011 tsunami
Construction of fragmented and strategically placed â€œwallsâ€? begins
Community rehoused within Shibitachi
2020 Density of living increased on higher ground. Community garden plots on lower ground provides town with food
2045 Another big tsunami event destroys gardens and temporary light weight buildings and infrastructure, housing and wall infrastructure built on higher ground remains
new garden plots
old garden plots
Wall as field
Shibitachi plan Tsunami edge and wall as ďŹ eld
The edge of the tsunami zone is not a clear cut hard line. I wanted the wall to not only be embedded within the community the landscape and topography but also within this context of this blurred edge. Where the tsunami has reached previously and where it might reach to in the future is unclear. By fragmenting the wall and embedding it within changing levels of the topogrpahy there are different opportuinites for the wall to defend against different and unknowable levels of tsunami.
Embedded wall plan
Changes to planting as salinity levels drop. Plants can begin to break out beds and grow in soil. 15.
Zoom-in moments 16.
Te s t i n g f o r m t h r o u g h m o d e l s
Wall as public space?
s in le
ange ting ch
Wall as frame?
Permeability of wall?
How might the wall become useful public space that caters for different daily programs that allow it to be used year round, not just during a tsunami even.
considering the wall in relation to the human scale
How might the connection that the people have with the sea be maintained and even heightened by the wall?
How might existing processes and elements such as topography vegetation and water ďŹ‚ow be integrated into the wall? By working closely with the site and using the wall to further articulate the speciďŹ c characteristics of place the wall can help to reinforce a local identity and a compelling sense of belonging.
By using recycled and local materials on the lower ground a new typology of experimental and temporary structures can be developed. These structures and gardens will inevitably be washed away but there is a look of lightness and impermanence to them that makes their loss not a negative thing but rather an excepted part of the cycle of rebuilding. The lower ground is continually evolving and ďŹ‚uctuating.
How might traditional Japanese vernacular architecture be combined with technology and local knowledge to re-think the wall?
Thresholds and gateways
Shibitachi: existing local materials and approaches
Yokohama: solid and void
Tokyo: density and scale
Published on Nov 21, 2012