Project 4x30 - Smart Park

Year: 2012

Project Brief:

Smart Park was designed in response to a design competition by ArchMedium called “Tokyo Replay Center” in the Autumn of 2012. For this competition, I asked three of my friends to join me and we spent approximately two weeks preparing our submission. At the time, we were all students from various years of architecture school and we used Rhino, V-Ray, and Adobe Design Suite for all of our final graphics. Here’s the design brief from ArchMedium:

“The aim of this competition is to develop a new leisure center in central Tokyo. The center must fit with the lifestyle of Japanese society while offering a new method of entertainment designed especially for them.

The Tokyo Replay Center is a new concept of entertainment. A complex with numerous private media rooms (similar to the popular karaoke rooms) where groups of friends can go to see old anime, to watch classic films, or to play video games in a private setting where they can feel comfortable.

For the same price that a karaoke session or an informal dinner would cost, people could rent a private room and be entertained with some of the best Japanese technological entertainment. The space has to be equipped with the best technology in audio and video quality while also offering an extensive menu of food and drinks to complete the experience.

The Tokyo Replay Center aspires to become a reference point in this culture of leisure, a must for the “otaku” (people with a keen interest in manga, anime, and video games) and all people interested in technology. It would be a place where you could find the latest”

Project Site

“Akihabara is internationally known as the meeting point for otaku people around the world. Gadgets and products are for sale everywhere. Innovation and tradition meet at a single point.

There is no better place for the Tokyo Replay Center than this central district of Tokyo. It is full of shops where you can buy new items, used, share equipment, etc. Akihabara Station is also one of the most important stations in Tokyo.

The urban grid of Akihabara is made up of very narrow and very long plots. All of these conditions, put together with the high density of Tokyo’s urbanization forces most of the buildings in the neighborhood to grow in height.

The site chosen for the competition is in a typically Japanese plot, just a few meters from the station. The plot is relatively large and the building that was there previously has been recently demolished. For this exercise we will consider that the site has been divided into two smaller plots and we’ve been assigned with one of them (15m wide). To make the exercise more challenging the kind of building that will occupy the other plot is unknown, so the Tokyo Replay Center will have consider that a building will be build right next to it, although we don’t know what it will be.

The site has access by two streets, one pedestrian and one vehicular, and both streets are connected by a covered passage, the “My Way 2”. This passage must be respected and can be used as a tool for the building to relate with the public space of the street.”

Project Program

Hall/reception 120m2

Multi-purpose place 450m2

Bar + Kitchen 220m2

Administration 45m2

Servers room 20m2

Auditorium 650m2

Shops

Manga/anime 400m2

Films 200m2

Video Games 200m2

Karaoke rooms

Small rooms 24x12m2

Medium rooms 30x18m2

Large rooms 12x30m2

Restrooms 90m2

Circulations 360m2

Total (aprox.) 4000m2

Total m2 of building land is 4000m2 (+ -10%).

The total building height is limited to 10 floors (ground floor + 10).

Design Proposal

With the universal acceptance of mobile devices such as laptops, phones, and tablets, people of all ages are able to travel away from static spaces such as internet cafes, offices, and homes and use public spaces like parks and lounges. With regard to this idea of mobility, Smart Park creates a new typology where occupants are able to traverse the building and watch videos and films, play games, or read in a natural environment. Thus, the lower floors of Smart Park are designed as a park with small berms, grass, pathways, and outlets for charging personal devices.

Smart Park’s design removes the need for a large staff to run the building and provides directions and entertainment straight to one’s personal device. With this technology, we envision visitors of Smart Park as having an application on their phone that provides a map, monetary transactions for using the building’s services, and reservation features for the karaoke rooms. The moment a person enters Smart Park, they’re charged an entry fee to the building and given access to all of the public spaces such as the lower levels parks, shops, and restaurant. Everything is done through the application on their mobile devices.

Since wireless connections are available on all mobile devices, the architecture of Smart Park is designed as organic spaces that provide a park-like setting within an interior environment. Throughout the year, the building provides a warm and natural setting for all visitors to enjoy gaming, singing, shopping, eating, drinking, and watching performances in the auditorium with their friends. Smart Park will become a new gathering place for locals who are looking to meet and spend time together in a natural environment.