Harmonica Yokocho Mitaka

In and Out of Intention
Frankly speaking, the very essence of architectural design is to put the world in order by “intention”.
It has nearly approached critical state to get rid of the chaos, illuminate the gloom, and bring out “the Radiant City” proposed by le Corbusier. This time, on the contrary, we look for something out of intention.
In this context, many university laboratories are studying “Black market”, the remained example of the unintended that developed naturally during post-war period. And now its value has been re-evaluated. However, Shimokitazawa’s black market was withdrawn recently. It is definitely not a secured prospect.
Instead of being retrospectively sentimental, the project this time aimed at connecting significance of Harmonica Yokocho in Kichijoji, the representative of black market, with the future.
What was requested here is “design without intention”, or saying an in-between state “ being designed as well as not designed” which seemed to be self-contradictory in terms of semantics.
To be specific, the attempt was to transform the previous Pachinko shop on the first floor of an office building into a “new black market” consisting of 7 restaurants.
What we applied here was the development of the technique “Tom and Jerry” tested in the project “Sagacho Archives” before.
Each tenant shop was the “Tom‘s space” finished with clear intention of design. They are organized by the unconscious “Jerry’s living place” fluid among where foundation was exposed.
Different from Sagacho Archive, the single Tom-Jerry relationship was pluralized and therefore probably diversified. By complicating it, living place of Jerry was more freed from restrains of intention as uniqueness of design was more weakened.
People live somewhere that is neither a pure radiant city nor a complete “Black market”. Perhaps the distribution of both brightness and gloom is important to a good living.
We believe occurrence out of intention that contrasts with world of intention will be sort of model for urban planning from now on.