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Ark Umeda: Urban Metabolism in Osaka University of Cambridge

Tutors: Peter Carl, Phil Meadowcroft

ARK Umeda, an intervention into the dense and often chaotic context of Osaka, Japan, seeks to develop a vertical metabolism by re-thinking the Japanese department store as a typology, and of the megastructure as a form of urbanism. The required scale and infrastructural permanence of the department store suggest the need to allow for adaptability, obsolescence and deconstruction.By drawing upon the existing institutional richness of the department store often called 'a city in a building', this project looks at ways of creating a topographic order which works vertically and shows how the megastructure can accommodate several layers of order, and therefore several layers of potential development in history.

'A sophisticated response to modern Japanese city building. It celebrates Osaka's genre-busting combinations of uses while proposing new forms of order within it' SOM judges

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