I-AUD | International Program in Architecture and Urban Design

workshop 2019 Urban Rhizome of Shibuya

Joint Workshop ESNA Val de Seine / I-AUD
Working the Urban Rhizome of Shibuya

Period: Nov 11th – Nov 15th
Instructors: Alain Guiheut (ESNAPVS), Davisi Boontharm (I-AUD), Masuda Shingo (I-AUD), Manuel Tardits (I-AUD)

City and Infrastructures

Tokyo metropolis is the largest urban conurbation on earth with more that 42M inhabitants, which means 1/3 of the entire population of Japan. Since its birth in the early years of the 16th century, the rise of the capital city relies strongly upon its infrastructures. During the 20th century the development of transportations had a major impact on the way the city organized itself; in particular the set of elevated motorways and the loop of the Yamanote line (train), which is encircling a large portion of the central part of Tokyo, are some of the most prominent artifacts or urban figures that one can discover.

Shibuya Station and the Public Space

Shibuya station, which is one of the major stops on the Yamanote line, is the fourth busiest station in the world in terms of daily commuters with 2,4M persons. This does not prevent it though for being at the moment heavily reorganized with the construction of 7 towers and the relocation on some of its 10 lines of metros and trains. This gigantic effort of reorganization enhances the fact that even more than a station it acts as a catalyst for an entire area. Hence it defines the informal center of a kind of urban rhizome.

Workshop Subject

The site on which we shall work is linked to this reconstruction as it is located at the southern edge of the station complex. As such it is part of the so-called rhizome but it has its specificity too. It exhibits the remain of the Shibuya river which was part of the larger water system that was used in former Edo (old name of Tokyo) but has been ignored and partly buried during the 20th century. It also links Meiji street to the river.As such students are asked to rethink this area in all its urban complexity: linkage to the station, public urban fabric, reconstruction of the river connection with the street system.