Mizu no Ki

Project info

Location: Hachinohe, Aomori, JAPAN
Built Area: 8,500 sq. ft 
Program: community center, monument
Art director: Chie Morimoto
Client: Hachinohe City (Public)
Completion: 2018

This project aims to revitalize the central city area of Hachinohe. Specifically, we proposed a space that would stimulate people’s lively interactions. As a means to generate a new community center that would further breed and nurture next generation, we pursued consultation and supervision for the overall building while designing a monument which symbolizes water.

Instead of relying on a conventional iconic monument, we generated an interactive space that allows people to play with water while experiencing various water phenomena. To highlight the nature of water that stimulates our five senses, we scrutinized a way to provide “shapes” to shapeless water by reflecting the following features: sounds from Shishiodoshi, sparkles of fountains and mists, and visualization of flows of water inspired by Karakoro musical trees.

The monument resembles a forest, consists of many trees. Each tree has branches (made of pipes reflecting Shishiodoshi’s), and leaves (made of acrylic saucers). By setting different levels of sound scales for branches, they orchestrate diverse sounds when water falls through the branches and lands in the leaves.

At a glance, the structure of the monument appears randomized as if it is a natural forest. In fact, under a consideration for construction and performance issues, I divided it into three units, assigning 120 degrees of the superficial area for each unit. By doing so, water would fall for one unit during normal times, and all three units would operate during events. This system enables a flexible adjustment to various performances as well as a control over volume of water.