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m ut ab l e wa ll

E mma Hi ck s


Emma Hicks

s30 5 2 2 5 0


c ontent s

01

i nt rod u ct i on

04

r e-t hi n k i n g t he wa ll

03

m ob i l it y a n d f lex i b i l it y

05

to po g r a phy as d efen c e

13

wa l l a s f i eld

19

test i n g for m t hro u g h m o del s

25

a xon om et r i c s


Mutable wall

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.


02.


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.

03.


Re-thinking the wall...

sea 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

04.


Mobility and flexibility

The initial group design work in Japan looked at how mobility and exiblity might improve resilience for an uncertain future .

PUSH

SHUKUURA KARAKUWA BABA

We looked at how Shibitachi sits in relation to the Karakawa peninsular and beyond this to wider japan.

KONAGANE

SHIBITACHI

KOSABA

NAKAI

PULL

05.

Some of these initial ideas and research continued to infrom my work through the remainder of the semester


SECTION LINE

LEGEND EVACUATION ROADS PROPOSED NEW RADIAL ROADS

FISHING INFRASTRUCTURE THRESHOLD MOBILITY VAN PARKING PREVIOUS MAJOR TSUNAMI THRESHOLDS NEW HOUSING RECLAMATION AREAS RECLAMATION VEGETATION

06.


To p o g r a p h y a s d e fe n c e

35 mts

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.

20 mts

15 mts

10 mts

5 mts

0 mts


post 2011 tsunami

2015

Construction of fragmented and strategically placed “walls� 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

08.


A

A

B C

B C

new garden plots

09.

old garden plots

new housing

existing buildings

temporary buildings

wall


A

A

plan A

section A

10.


B

B

plan B

section B

11.


C

C

plan C

section C

12.


Wall as field

Shibitachi plan Tsunami edge and wall as ďŹ eld

13.


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.

14.


D.

C.

B.

E.

A.

Embedded wall plan

Changes to planting as salinity levels drop. Plants can begin to break out beds and grow in soil. 15.

E.

1st year

2nd year

3rd year


A.

C.

B.

D.

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

?

s tion

ing reat

new

ec onn

c

C

Wall as public space?

vels?

s in le

ange ting ch

ia Negot

17.


The

wal li

n re

latio

n to

hum an

sca

le?

Wall as frame?

Permeability of wall?

18.


Axonometrics

2025

2016

2012

19.


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.

20 .


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?

21.


22.


How might existing processes and elements such as topography vegetation and water 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.

23.


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 uctuating.

24.


Vernacular architecture

How might traditional Japanese vernacular architecture be combined with technology and local knowledge to re-think the wall?

25.


26.


Thresholds and gateways

27.


Shibitachi: existing local materials and approaches

29.


Yokohama: solid and void

31.


Tokyo: density and scale

32.



Mutable Wall Emma Hicks