In June 2017, the Japanese design studio Nendo completed a massive new urban plaza near Kyoto, Japan.
CoFuFun, located outside Tenri Station, is Nendo’s largest project to-date, and their first public space. It takes its design inspiration from ancient Japanese tombs known as ‘cofun’. The landscape of the plaza, punctuated by the cofun, is intended to represent the characteristic geography of the Nara Basin area, which is surrounded by mountains.
The plaza’s name combines ‘cofun’ with ‘fufun’ which is a Japanese expression meaning ‘happy, unconscious humming’.
Pieces of a precast concrete mould were fitted together to create the white, disc-shaped cofun structures. A low cost was achieved by using the same factory moulds several times, creating a precise and easy-to-assemble structure pieced together like building blocks using cranes.
According to Nendo, ‘it is an ‘ambiguous’ space that’s entirely a café, a playground and a massive piece of furniture, all at once.’
Content and images courtesy of Nendo.
Photography is by Daici Ano, Tadashi Endo, Kokuyo, Takumi Ota and Akihiro Yoshida.
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