Future Vision of Kyoto for the 21st Century

Future Vision

In accordance with the previously mentioned refulgent examples offered to us by history, we should -yes- ponder, examine and admire the past, but as Prof. Hirosi Hara recently declared on the pages of Nikkei Architecture:

In conceiving the “Future Vision of Kyoto for the 21st Century” we must be original, innovative and even “bold” in seeking a new balance between the past and the future. We should not be shy in considering dramatic innovations, both in conceptual design and in construction methods. We should envision a new philosophy in envisioning and materializing a totally new kind of city infrastructure and adopt un-precedent creative building systems which capitalize on the technology and materials we have at our disposal today. Indeed we should not be scared to incorporate in our future projects, new developments in construction automation; site robotics; demountable, modular, and flexible building systems with the utilization of mobile factories. We should devise creative solutions for personal transportation systems and  propose innovative service networks. In a new City, management and maintenance should be entirely computer-aided and robotically controlled.

We must also not shy away from implementing local and global ecological policies, developing new processes for re-generating energy and saving precious resources such as pure water and clean air. Indeed it is conceivable that the discovery of new energy resources will be the most important topic of the near future. Energy will be obtained from the exploitation of solar, wind, and tidal energy, from waste-products and from the development of synthetic fuels. Alternative sources of power will be used, such as air pressure in construction and magnetic fields in transportation. De-salting systems will also be developed that will allow us to purify sea water for agricultural use and for human consumption.

The 21st century is likely to present a general, continuous improvement in economic and social level, together with an unprecedented lengthening of leisure time. Ultra-aging population growth will necessitate the construction of a totally new style of modern environment rich in serenity and happiness with easy access to spiritual symbols such as Buddhist Temples and Shinto Shrines. Concurrently we should attract young people by creating a challenging habitat full of potential for employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.

A contemporary City must also be sensitive to the dynamic evolution of human resources. Widespread education and specialization will change the configuration of the work-force from the highest academic level down. This will, for example, result in a decrease in the availability of mid-level, experienced manual labor particularly in the construction industry. Considerations must also focus on the inevitable fluctuations in world demography and cultural exchanges.

The fact that these, and other complex factors, will have to be considered when planning for the future of Kyoto for the 21st Century, should not obstruct, but rather direct and enhance the potential for creativity.

Our concept for the Kyoto of the 21st century is called "K 21". The idea is simple, economical and bold. It is inspired from the historic fable of Empress Amaterasuohmikami’s (Ama= the heavens, sky; terasu= shine, light, sun; oh= great; mi=majesty; kami= god) born from the left eye of Izanagi.  “K 21” will be enlightened by the Goddess’s mirror poetic image that re-directs from earth the sun light to the heavens. We propose a new City Infrastructure which will embrace the sun light of the South and will be provided with a symbolic gigantic rotating copper mirror which during the day will slowly reflect in different directions the sun light in a continuous annual sequence representing the everlasting dynamic cosmic laws governing the Universe.

After sunset, the same rotating Amaterasuohmikami’s symbolic mirror with its dynamic sequence, will collect the Old Kyoto’s colorful night lights to also be reflected on the surface of the “ K 21” and then, to be projected towards the heavens.

We propose a totally new urban concept based on the auto-construction of a mega-infrastructure  which arises separate from and not in conflict with the old city center. The majestic City’s Infrastructure we propose will be erected by robotized mobile factories in the area surrounded by the impressive crown of the Eastern, Northern and Western hills. Its foundation may be traced by the City’s Officials in the year 2000 along the original 794 North - South axis of Emperor Kammu’s  Heian-Kyo.

The Footing

With no environmental profanation and with a minimum of offence in pollution, its circumscribing footing excavation will kindly encircle sweet hills and uncontaminated land. Indeed, its automated construction process will be seen only just as a discreet, new highway road circular work.  This will allow land, encompassed by the footing system, to be untouched during and after the construction process. Practically the entire foundation system will be constructed through a self-shaping and self supporting process by which separate robotized mobile factories, working in circles of the same diameter, will produce layers upon layers of circular helical reinforced concrete crowns provided with all necessary inner cavities for all the necessary city’s ducts network.

Symbolizing the pure solar image, recalling the shape of an ancient Imperial symbol, representing Japan’s distinctive, unmistakable modern national flag, the circular shape for the new city foundation as theorized by Vitruvio, will be in perfect harmony with Emperor Kammu’s original symmetrical rectangular plan,

Structural Geometry

Structurally connected to the basic circular footing system described above, a totally innovative city’s infrastructure is conceived with a superb, pure, clean and harmonic thin-in-section geometry. Such a geometry, derived by certain elementary natural laws, has been carefully selected from different super-stable, doubled curved, space-shapes, generated by solid mathematical functions expressed through very elegant and simple equations.

The skillfully chosen general geometry is an hyperboloid of rotation which is provided with a distinctive beauty in itself. With a well-proportionate cut, marked by an imaginary plan at approx 13 degrees facing South, the final selected shape of the infrastructure allows for the maximum of exposure of the healthy sun’s “terasu” to the largest possible part of the City’s surface.

Said diagonal gentle cut  offers an Amaterasuohmikami’s “cosmic-ellipse-opening embracing the sun light with a large structure-stabilizing “halo-ring-beam” which will be anchored to the previously described footing system by means of multi-directional steel cables. The softly tilted ring beam will be also used as the world most fantastic panoramic boulevard which will spectacularly encircle the summit of the new city’s infra-structure. The multi-directional cables will also offer structural support to the new land to be urbanized below the top ring beam.  Between the inner and the outer anchoring cable network and the double-layered internal core, the living habitat will be free to be developed in due time and in a semi-traditional fashion.