In a different time, only a couple of decades ago the world as it is known today was unimaginable to the common person. And so were all the ways in which we experience our environment today, unanticipated. With the advancement of time the way in which we experience leisure has advanced as well. The CoFuFun Plaze at Tenri Station is a manifestation of an exploration of leisure in today’s day and age.
The ambiguous nature of the plaza aims to captures the delight and interest of people by being able to adapt to a variety of activities. The 6,000 square meter local community revitalisation project includes bicycle rentals, a cafe and other shops, an information kiosk, a play area, outdoor stage and meeting area.
Nendo has achieved this by representing the very nature of the geographical context through the design. The urban landscape of Tenri includes a number of beautiful ancient Japanese tombs, known as ‘cofun’. These cofun grace the plaza in several numbers, and blend into the spaces around them with ease. This is reminiscent of the Nara Basin that is surrounded on all sides by mountains.
These round tomb mounds, also known as ‘empun’ cofun have been constructed by fitting together pieces of a precast concrete mould that resembles a huge pizza. As a result, the structures are precise, and with the same mould being used multiple times, the cost-performance is excellent. Massive cranes used to build bridges carry and fit together these parts to form the whole, without any columns and beams. The round shape of the cofun results in balance and stability against forces from all directions.