Gifu City Culture Centre: Slow Street

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The concept “Slow Street” is a combination of two key interests; the Slow Life Movement and the historic streetscapes. The Gifu City Cultural Centre aims to be a medium to promote the Slow Life Movement that was previously introduced by the Gifu City Government in an attempt to slow down the fast paced life in Gifu City, while simultaneously opening up to its surrounding site and coexisting as part of the streetscape urban fabric.

To create this streetscape identity within the Culture Centre, multiple rectangular masses of different scales were added to the east wing and each mass were setback by increments of 3m to opening up the circulation from the street to Kogane Park. Another two masses were placed sensitively into the existing multiple purpose hall in the South Wing. As one walk from either of the main entrances to the other( north wing to the south wing), he would be able to walk along the masses and enter into them just as one would walk along the street and enter into the buildings. To integrate this streetscape identity as part of the vertical circulation, the auditorium in the center of the Culture Centre was demolished and replaces with stairs and ramps along the edges of the auditorium to create a circular vertical circulation where one could again, walk along the masses and enter into them.

To open up the Culture Centre as part of the existing streetscape, the exterior shell of the multi purpose hall was demolished where the lower part of the exterior shell was replaced with shopfronts that open up to the street while the upper part of the exterior shell was replaced with glass supported with columns to emphasize the streetscape identity.

To become a vessel that promotes the Slow Life movement, the programme spaces in each of these rectangular masses were introduced with some of the main themes of the Slow Life Movement; Slow Wear, Slow Food, Slow Education and Slow House. To further study the relationship of private and public spaces, the inspiration of Machiya House( a Japanese Shophouse Typology) was used and its spatial layout of private and public spaces was studied over 4 generations of Machiya Houses where public is denoted by green and private is denoted by cyan and this relationship was mapped out as shown in the floor plans below.

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