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.’
In an attempt to encourage children to play, the innermost circle of one of the amphitheatres is bouncy. Play equipment, a bike rental service and an outdoor stage area also provided.
Content and images courtesy of Nendo.
Photography is by Daici Ano, Tadashi Endo, Kokuyo, Takumi Ota and Akihiro Yoshida.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
A blueprint for the construction industry from Canada's west coast.
China's elaborate idea for a mass-transport system has been abandoned.
Read this article about the theories that characterise life in the hyperreal post-modern city.
Polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation and how it was tested.
"We can’t sustain low density suburbs, density isn't a choice, it's a necessity." - Read our interview with the award-winning social housing architect Peter Barber.
Conservation area designation can be crucial, but treatment of individual parks varies considerably.
ICE publish new NEC4 Design, Build and Operate contract.
Report states $2 trillion is needed over the next 10 years to fix American roads.
What is the client's strategic brief for construction projects?
Read the story behind the world's most iconic festival stage, Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage.
First ever BREEAM Communities innovation credit is claimed by Temple Farm Development.
Read the story of Ronan Point, another disastrous event which had profound consequences for the construction industry.
CIOB to help conservation specialists gain recognition for their expertise with launch of new Certification Scheme.
A brief introduction to Building Information Modelling - is it the future of construction?
What is ACM cladding, what is it used for, and is it banned?