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PORTFOLIO - Urban Design.



Minamata Memorial

Minamata Japan


The tragedy at Minamata is the result of a  chasm between human endeavor and nature; Between the creations of our minds, the work of our hands and the dynamics of the natural world.

As long as this rift exists we will live under the threat of environmental catastrophe. Human endeavor becomes a frenzied dance of self destruction.

If however we do bridge this chasm and find concordance between human creativity and nature we can be sure that what happened here will never happen again.

This memorial articulates the rift between the human and the natural, and creates in the space between them a place of gathering so we may bear witness to what has happened here and come together in a search for balance and harmony between the human and the natural world.

The plaza at the north speaks of the paradox of human endeavor. At once a process of bringing order that has within it the seeds of its own fragmentation. An act of empowerment and submission; a source of comfort and dread; ingenious and yet vain.

The garden to the south is a celebration of the vitality of nature. Its ability to sustain life, heal and rejuvenate. The place we long to return.