TOKYO, JAPAN | TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY | WITH: RONA ADLER
“One of the most famous images of contemporary Tokyo is the huge screen on the Alta building in Shinjuku”. Rem Koolhaas - S,M,L,XL 1998
The eastern side of Shinjuku Train station building enables two parallel worlds to coexist: The underground world, created by the train carts flow and platforms, and the upper world, created by the train station itself and by the Department store above. Historically department stores in Tokyo brought to the masses the “new culture”, presenting contemporary art, theatre, housing types and so on. In recent years the digital screens of modern Tokyo replace the department stores’ role and act as the new “culture screen“.
The project realized there is a potential to generate a place that unites the upper and lower worlds. By exposing the underground station level, a public square is created in front of the Shinjuku station, which acts as an echo to the smaller public square in front of the nearby famous “Studio Alta”.
In addition to creating the square, the project creates a new “Culture Screen” which connects the department stores on both sides of the new public space. It also “screens” a variety of cultural activities. The cultural exposition acts as a reminder of the department stores important role in the early 20th century in Japan. The combination of a public space and a cultural screen competes with “Studio Alta”.
This project generates a cultural and physical filter, which revives the unrealized potential of the site in front of Shinjuku train station.