PWP Landscape Architecture

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Marugame Station Plaza

Location

Marugame, Japan

Completion Date

1992

Client

Kagawa Prefectural Government

Architect

Taniguchi & Associates

An oblique view of Japanese tradition permeates the plaza, which links the train station to the sculpture terrace of Taniguchi’s Inokuma Museum. Lines of common asphalt and the fine cobbled stones used in Japanese gardens create a patterned paving that connects the buildings as it moves across previously “empty” spaces, traversing buildings and jumping across streets. In the plaza the fountain is composed of four identical painted steel rectangles inspired by traditional torii, the gates of Shinto religion. They also suggest the cranes of the harbor’s high-tech shipping industry. When they “rain” into the pool they evoke the translucent quality of traditional shoji screens. A spiral of “boulders” mirrors the circular basin of the fountain; they reveal their true fiberglass nature only on touch or at dusk when, lit from within, they glow like lanterns. These heavy-looking weightless stones, although paradoxical, function perfectly as seats and bollards.

Consultants

Gen Kato (urban design); Nihon-Toshi-Sogo-Kenkyusho (urban design); Toshi-Keikan-Sekkie (landscape construction observation)