Ritsumeikan Academy Design & Branding SOCCER BALL COMMUNITY HALL EVOKES CIRCLES OF SMILES by ADK Asatsu-DK Tokyo

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Industry Education
Media Design & Branding
Market Japan
Agency ADK Asatsu-DK Tokyo
Art Director Tomohisa Yano
Designer Masami Shirai
Photographer Jason Halayko, Chieko Izutsu
Strategic Planner Hitomi Baba
Released January 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Public Spaces
Leader/Associate Professor: Shinsaku Munemoto (Ritsumeikan University)
Leader Of Student Volunteer: Toru Ukon  (Ritsumeikan University)
Leader Of Student Volunteer: Shunichi Sakatani (Ritsumeikan University)
Movie Producer: Ryuichi Kawaguchi (Ritsumeikan University)
Photographer: Jason Halayko (Ritsumeikan University)
Manager: Hiroshi Kuzu (Social Welfare Council Of Miyako City)
Carpenter: Haruo Sasaki
Creative Director/Copywriter: Michiyo Kambe (ADK)
Art Director: Tomohisa Yano (ADK)
Communications Planner: Jun Kubokura (ADK)
Strategic Planner: Hitomi Baba (ADK)
Account Executive: Tatsuhiro Yokoyama (ADK)
Designer: Masami Shirai (ADK Arts)
Movie Producer: Seitaro Wakasugi (Tatsumaki)
Photographer: Chieko Izutsu
Media placement: Temporary House - Fishing Village That Had Been Devastated By The Massive Earthquake - 9.Jan,2012~

Describe the brief from the client
Our goal was to plan and implement a collective disaster recovery project anchored by Ritsumei University students and professors. Our initiative was based on the belief that ongoing efforts to provide physical and financial aid had overlooked the need for emotional support to dispel victims’ stress and anxieties in the wake of the disaster that devastated large areas of Northeastern Japan.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
Temporary housing provided for disaster victims offered no place for residents to gather to share words of reassurance and encouragement. We devised a plan to construct a simple meeting hall adjacent to the temporary housing area, with the aim of kindling a spark of community spirit among the residents. Though the methods were simple, we hoped that sharing the process of students constructing a building would become a symbol for the community, and would enable architecture students to simultaneously experience the satisfaction of building something by hand alongside the rewards of community service.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
A large open hall, where people could interact freely with their neighbours, would provide emotional fulfilment for victims forced to live in temporary housing after their town itself had been obliterated. We aimed to create a space that would permit everyone to see each other's faces – an open space with no pillars obstructing the line of sight. We decided on a dome-shaped structure of hexagonal panels and pentagon-shaped windows, resembling a halved soccer ball. Easy to construct and exceptionally sturdy, this unique configuration evokes a sense of presence and a playful spirit befitting a new local landmark.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
Evoking a playful spirit, the ball-shaped meeting hall erected near the austere rows of temporary housing harnessed the power of design to resolve a community problem. The frisson of excitement as one enters the hall; the pleasure of seeing faces across an encompassing space, uninterrupted by pillars; the joy of human contact: this is no mundane neighbourhood meeting hall. To encourage people who had left the area after the disaster to return for a visit, the facility is named ‘Odense’, meaning welcome in the local dialect. Here, the power of design serves as a magnet, attracting residents and visitors alike.

- The project was featured in a radio broadcast on September 17, 2011.
- Ad posters featuring the project were placed in JR Tokai, Hankyu and Kintetsu trains from December 1, 2011.
- Announcement about the project in radio program, web sites, and transport advertising gathered building materials and supports from 12 companies.
- We also got an inquiry from some construction company as well.
- The opening event received publicity coverage from NHK, the Yomiuri Newspaper and other major media. (January 9 & 10, 2012)