The rebirth of a city, L’Aquila, Italian interlude


I was curios to see what was going on, after 8 years from the big earthquake that devastated this City, in the middle of Italy located just 1 hour an half by car from Rome.

I have been gratified by a positive attitude that it is spread all over the citizens. A new mayor was just been elected. The center of the city is an enormous working in progress. I think from 5 to 10 per cent of the palaces are already been repaired accordingly to the new strict anti-seismic regulation. Churches would take longer of course but at least 50 per cent of the real estate goods are under active reparation.

I am sure that in 10 years L’ Aquila will show a full renovated historical centrum more beautiful than the state it was before the earthquake.

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A good point also can be made out of new seismical approach that has inundated the city. Not by coincidence at all, in 2009, just few months after the hit, the Law introducing new, more strict rules to consider the effect of seismic forces was introduced in Italy after a long deprecated procrastination under the conservative Italian forces such as building enterprises for instance. More than that, the 15.000 new houses built in less than year under the direction of the Civil Protection absolute power eventually force the Italians to take in consideration the seismic isolation mechanism so well known in Japan under the name of “Menshin”. The effect is touchable still today, the normal “aquilano” – the local citizen – is as informed as a structural engineer about construction mechanism and technologies that cannot be cheated at all.

The unexpected effect is that these days real estate values in L’Aquila are underestimated, because of the earthquake, where in reality they are far better re-built than in other part of Italy! If you zoom on the horizon you can count the number of cranes standing on the top of the centrum.

lAQUILAgru

 

One last input: An unnecessary suggestion to the mayor would be considering to give the outskirt a new urban approach especially where it seems it never had one. To get appeal toward the northern Europe future visitors some efforts must be addressed. Bicycle lanes, clear bus schedule and limitations of traffic speed with the passive dissuaders in critical points to name a few improvements I think L’Aquila deserves.

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Japanese architects abroad


Dear reader,

this should be a list of Japanese Architects who have their own office established abroad. It does not matter if they are super famous or just leading an office of two or three people, I encourage to comment on this and add names and web pages. Only those who stands with their own name, they witness there is a life outside of Japan. Not associated, second in chief for those one I would add a different post.

  • Toshihiro Oki, Long Island, New York, here.

 

 

the underground path to the emperor Palace


I thought it would be nice to visit again the East garden of the emperor Palace in Tokyo. On my way to exit 13b of Ootemachi station wihch is poorest signaled coming from Marounochi line, I noticed quite renovation ongoing, probably following the Tokyo station mayor works.

The path and the quality of work was on primary level, probably work of major Japanese Companies who are tangled with landlords over there (Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei?).

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On the right the stone, granite, is alternated on smooth and natural surface.

I underlined graphically the rhythm the path with thin red lines.

On the left, I used the blue thin lines, the different scheme of advertising screens. To note the refined touch on the ceiling where the two paths are detached and do not join each others.

At the end of the path, a nice full crystal elevator was an option to raise to the street level.

 

the Stadium has reached its Height


On Sunday I have watched a baseball game, the Tokyo derby: Giants vs Swallowers (Yakult) I guess.

Walking back to the station we walked just a side of the new Olympic Stadium, and it is growing day by day thus I thought it would be nice to have an updated on that.

I probably start something on Instagram since lately I have been doing a lot of bycicle and I am discovering so many interesting things but I do not have time to sit down and write  about them.  However I would love to continue to share these Tokyo sides. Stay tuned about this shift.

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Prevention through Design


This article is long due.

AS my wife forecast in 2016, Tokyo Design Week has been canceled (link). They even do not write the information in English. It probably will change the name into something trendy and bigger, say World Design Week, and it will return back next year.

Since I am returning to focus my interest in safety and Health works, related to construction, it is nice founding a recent approach in design that underline this aspect.

There is a research center, here, the link, quite young from the Arizona State University. I think this deserve an honour place in every Design exhibition world wide.

 

 

Wood? where is it?…new Olympic stadium ongoing construction


Coming back to Japan and wanted to swim on along distance I went to the Tokyo Gymnasium who host a fantastic, open to all, 50 metre long swimming pool, clean and perfect as you may expect. (it is Sendagaya station for those interested)

Unfortunately the second time, was on Tuesday, and not checking the days off, I found it there. Strolling around the Gymnasium a creepy view was in the horizon, just behind the beautiful dome of the pool (designed by F.Maki by the way).

Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium 2017

if you recall the second competition, won by K.Kuma associated with Taisei Corporation and if I recall well Azuma architects, you may remember nice images full of wood an green. That is decoration, design intent. What is the core of the stadium you are seeing this picture: steel and concrete, and what else would might be?

Aside:

Finding that architect Maki designed the Gymnasium to me it is a reason more to understand why he was chief leader against the original winner project for the new Olympic stadium since your design would be outlaw by the new wave. The funny thing abou that is that always those who were at the beginning of their career the most unbiased it turn out to be the most conservative as the times passes to become a caricature of their own lost value.

 

A link of some “fantastic” they lost to give some money to the Steel and Concrete Japanese construction base moloch companies.