Hiroshima Orizuru Tower, Hiroshima, Japan
More than seventy years later, most people still associate Hiroshima with its tragic history and the images of its destruction. However, today’s Hiroshima bears no resemblance to the ruined city we know from history books. Today, Hiroshima is a modern and vibrant metropolis.
A view from the Hiroshima Orizuru Tower, opened in 2016, will convince anybody that the city has moved on. Only the neighbouring Peace Memorial Park with its burnt out dome of the former Industrial Exhibitions Hall reminds visitors of the disaster. Else, the visitor sees modern buildings, boats chugging slowly on the Motoyasu River, and the green hills surrounding the city. The architect Hiroshi Sambuichi wanted the public to have access to this panoramic view on the hills, on the modern city, but also on the historical site. For this reason, he designed the thirteenth floor of Hiroshima Orizuru Tower as an open viewing platform. Visitors are invited to stay and enjoy the wooden platform and the view it offers.
The aim was to have an unobstructed view from the floor of the platform to the roof, unhindered by railings or balustrades. Glass was excluded by the architect, because he wanted that the wind could be felt on the platform. ‘After the explosion of the atomic bomb’, he explains, ‘it was expected that no vegetation would grow here for seventy years. But Hiroshima was reborn as a beautiful city. I think this is due to the limitless circulation of air and water we have here in Hiroshima.’ Hiroshi Sambuichi wanted that visitors could experience this rhythm of nature, which enabled the rebirth of Hiroshima.
Jakob Rope System’s Webnet provided the solution to the architect’s desire: its virtual transparency allows visitors to have an unobstructed view of Hiroshima. It allows them to experience wind and weather. And it provides the security necessary when children and adults roam on the thirteenth floor. Although the Webnet is exposed to all weathers, it requires no special maintenance: it is hardwearing and durable. Being made out of stainless steel, it does not corrode and is immune to temperature variations.
Architect: Hiroshi Sambuchi
Webnet Ø 1.5 mm, mesh 100 mm, 514 square metres