Sakuragaoka Revisited

There are few theories about the origin of the name Shibuya. It was either named after feudal lord or the area itself, but important thing is that this district was heavily influenced by the river carving into the adjacent valley. In terms of a building development, the biggest boom came after the launch of Yamanote line, which means the end of the 19th century. The image of Shibuya that we know today was given in the 60’s and the overall master plan did not change a lot. Much more extensive changes are expected for the year 2030. The overall impression of Sakuragaoka is affected by two main traffic veins going in both cardinal directions, but the more you advance to the southwest the more the place becomes calmer a slower. It is also caused by the variable functions, transforming from commercial and offices to the purely residential area. We could encounter even deserted space, which is in a huge contrast with Shibuya.

The last thing this area needs is probably any other growth of commuters. The reason is not because of an abrupt outflow of people during the night or a lack of space for them, but because of huge torrents of uninvolved, which do not have any special relationship to this place in general. Thus, I do not identify with the future development in 2030 of bringing even more salarymen to this area by building another vast office blocks, although I understand it. Especially in this part of Tokyo is a high demand for residential spaces, not to speak affordable apartments. Then there is a lack of study spaces for students, which forces them to travel more between the places. Instead of spreading to the outskirts of Tokyo and thus contributing to the commuting, my intention is to design an affordable residential complex well-equipped with facilities. I understand that this is a very unlikely and utopian idea, but at least, I would like to return a former beauty to Sakuragaoka, because in Japanese it still means a cherry hill.


at Hosei University in Tokyo, 2015

led by Taketo Shimohigoshi

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