Reversible destiny? She explained, "We don't have to be passive to events; we can reverse the usual downhill course of things."
In a decision that has surprised the Japanese architectural establishment, the city of Tokyo recently awarded the New York artists-turned-architects Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins a special award for their plan to develop a two-phase, $7 billion housing and commercial project on approximately 75 acres of landfill in Tokyo Bay.The pair, who competed against several hundred design professionals in what was basically an idea contest, will now proceed to the feasibility and financing stage as technical details are developed and a consortium of developers is organized. For many decades, crowded Tokyo has been looking to the sea for land, and starting with the eminent Japanese architect Kenzo Tange in the 1960's, architects have speculated about occupying Tokyo Bay with sweeping utopian visions. Most of the proposals involved heroic megastructures of many stories. The apartment structures of Mr. Arakawa and Ms. Gins's Reversible Destiny City are five- to seven-story walk-ups that curve with the topo graphical contours of the landfill in tightly clustered neighborhoods that have the labyrinthine organization of souks and medieval towns. The artists plan to extend the topographic contours into the living units themselves -- all garden apartments -- where there will be level changes between rooms and even within the same room. ''No floors, only terrains,'' Ms. Gins said.
from: "Living Askew in a Community of Tilted Terrains" - Design Notebook, Joseph Giovannini , New York Times, April 10, 1998