Depopulating small Hachijo Island, mainly in poor changeable weather and has an active volcano, is located 290km south of Tokyo. This project is to create a focal point for decentralized town in order to revitalize the quality of life in Hachijo Island.
In the middle of the site, there is an open plaza for the annual summer festival, the biggest event on the island. Town hall, theater, study rooms, and child care center are placed surrounding the plaza. The large town hall entrance through the plaza becomes gallery with movable panes. All the surrounding facilities open to the plaza, even the theater.
The seats in the theater can be installed behind the stage to create a continuous open flat space. Back of the auditorium fully opens to the plaza. Large study room at the opposite side also fully opens to the plaza creating one large space for town event, even in bad weather. The project structures lively space placing plaza as the center.
The open flat auditorium was required to have a capability of disaster-prevention and ceremonial function which needs skylight and ventilation. Therefore, there are octagon shaped openings in the ceiling to bring in soft natural light. Inspired by Hachijo’s sea and light, space of dramatic lavas under the sea becomes a place for gathering and weddings, even for sports.
The project is also friendly to the environment. It actively reuses rain and ventilates the rooms continuously with outside air without opening windows since it tends to be in bad weather. It also preserves historical shelters and paths for living creatures. Environmental loading reduction and construction method suitable for isolated island was considered.