The grounds of a building destroyed in an earthquake in Kyushu, Japan, has been rejuvenated into a tiered pocket park and café that offers a “public space of private space” for locals to gather and socialise.
Host to a small cafe and an open-air social area, Omoken Park was designed by locally-based Yabashi Architects.
The park is set back from a parade of shops in Kumamoto, a city on Japan's westernmost island of Kyushu. The building that previously stood in its place was destroyed by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit the city in 2016.
The tragic event is what encouraged the practice to create a community-focused project. "Citizens who have experienced earthquakes have become aware of symbiosis more than ever by helping each other," explained the practice, which is led by Tohru Yabashi.
The building's roof is composed of four wood-lined platforms that stagger up towards the rear of the site. This is meant to serve as a park-like space from which visitors can overlook passing crowds of shoppers or sit and catch-up with friends.
Access is made easy by a set of stairs that lead up from ground level directly to the park. Greenery is provided by a handful of tall, leafy trees that have been dotted around the site's peripheries.
Inside is a small cafe that's almost entirely lined with cross-laminated timber (CLT), a warm contrast to the building's steel framework. Wood has also been used to create the long service counter, stool seats and central dining table, which is illuminated by exposed-bulb pendant lamps suspended overhead.
Doors or partitions have been omitted on the front and back elevations of the building, allowing people to wander in from either direction off the street.
The practice hopes that the cafe's open facade will help flood its interiors with natural light, keeping power consumption to a minimum.
Via Dezeen | Photography by Yashiro Photo Office