Located in a valley within Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, this 5,000-acre planned community was built to house a population of scientists, researchers, and other specialists associated with an atomic energy plant and research facility.
Peter Walker William Johnson and Partners, with architect Arata Isozaki, was hired by the Prefecture in 1989 to prepare a long-range master plan for the community. The plan articulated locations for a town park and an open space system, as well as a commercial town center, academic and research campuses, a hotel and conference center, and a golf course. It was organized along a linear transportation corridor, with road crossings designated at select locations for commercial and residential developments. Circulation systems included sidewalks, bicycle paths, and vehicular roads. The open space network was laid out to contain two complementary circulation systems, one for automobiles and one for bicycles.
During the planning phase for the new community, the semi-rural landscape surrounding the site was largely characterized by a monoculture of Japanese cedars, which had naturalized after the native forest had been logged. Renewing the deforested landscape was a major component of the master plan, and many of the new buildings, spaces, and other structures that were introduced were designed to be experienced within this renewed forested setting. The project was completed in 1993.