Why Hiroshima Became Green Again
Hiroshi Sambuichi – one of the leading green architects of our time – here reflects on his hometown Hiroshima and how “the power of nature” helped the landscape to restore so rapidly following the atomic bombings during World War II.
Sambuichi has lived in Hiroshima since he was a little boy, and hence this is where all his childhood memories are from: “Originally Hiroshima was just like Miyajima, a place with an affluent culture. And the wind, water and sun were moving very beautifully in this town.” When the United States dropped nuclear weapons on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, it was commonly believed that “no plants and trees would grow for 70 years. But trees and plants started to grow immediately.” According to Sambuichi, the reason for this can be found in the way nature works in the 10 km2 area of Hiroshima, which has seven rivers flowing into the Seto Inland Sea, and where clean water and clean air recirculates: “The water changes twice and the air once. And as long as the sun rises and the moon moves, this will repeat itself regularly. Because of that, everything rapidly became green again. And a beautiful city was restored.”
“The real beauty of this place is that you have a city which becomes one with the air and the sea.” Sambuichi considers Hiroshima a very green city and wants visitors to feel that: “When a city really becomes one with the air, water and sun I am sure that people will feel the vitality of this. To create cities where this is not lost is a very important message I want to convey to the world.”
Hiroshi Sambuichi (b.1968) is a Japanese architect, who is considered one of the top experimentalists of sustainable architecture, creating a symbiosis between nature and architecture. Built upon both personal intuition and scientific investigations, his architecture attains a rare balance between poetics and science. In 2001 Sambuichi established Sambuichi Architects. He is currently an Honorary Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture. In 2017 he was awarded the Wallpaper* Design Award for Naoshima Hall.
Hiroshi Sambuichi was interviewed by Christian Lund at Møstings Hus in connection with his installation ‘The Water’ at the Cisterns in Copenhagen, Denmark in March 2017.
Translator: Alex Hummel Lee, project leader & partner, Sambuichi Architects
Camera: Klaus Elmer
Edited by: Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2017
Supported by Dreyers Fond