シンガポール大学の学生らおよび Jurgen先生の来日に伴い、都市デザイン研究室の西村幸夫教授が特別にレクチャーを行いました。東京大学本郷キャンパスの周辺地域を対象に、市街地形成の歴史およびそれらをもとにしたアーバンデザインの観点における空間構造の解釈について、多くの図版を用いて解説して頂きました。

開催主旨

” How to interpret our surroundings in urban design context?
-University Tokyo campus and surrounding district as a case study ”

Prof. Yukio NISHIMURA Special Lecture in ENGLISH

10:00 – 11:00 am January 14th, Thu., 2016
Room 222@ Engineering Bldg. No.14
Given by Prof. Yukio Nishimura

1 The evolution and development of the University of Tokyo
2 Redevelopment of the University of Tokyo in the 21st century
3 Interpretation of the campus surrounding under the urban design context
4 Discussion between Prof. Nishimura and Prof. Jurgen

—– record —–

1 The evolution and development of the University of Tokyo

The lecture started from the old map of Hongo area in 1856, a period before the establishment of the university of Tokyo. In the Edo Era (1603-1868), Hongo area was a residential area for feudal domains who served the Edo government. The present site of Hongo campus was originally occupied by the residence of the feudal lord of the Kaga domain. There were also residences of some other domains in Hongo. The parts of the present campus where Tokyo University hospital, Yayoi campus and Asano campus currently stand were used by four other domains. Today, there are still some monuments of the Kaga domain in Hong campus such as Akamon (the Red Gate).

The lecture was followed by another old map of 1880, a time when the University of Tokyo began. In 1868, the Edo government collapsed due to the Meiji Restoration. The residential areas around Hongo were expropriated by the new government and converted into state property. In 1877, the Tokyo medical school was moved to the Hongo area. In 1877, the older government schools for medicine and Western learning were amalgamated into the Imperial University, predecessor of today’s University of Tokyo, which initially consisted of four faculties.

The old map of 1909 showed the expansion of the campus before the Great Kanto Earthquake. At that time, many brick buildings were designed in the Victorian gothic style and these buildings were built one by one in Hongo campus, leading to the density of buildings in Hongo campus growing gradually during Meiji period. During this period, the south-west corner of the campus was still occupied by the residence of Maeda Family, the successor of the Kaga domain.

While the map of 1937 showed the reconstruction of the campus after the Great Kanto Earthquake. In 1923, most of the buildings in Hongo campus were destroyed by the Great Kanto Earthquake except Bldg. 2 of Engineering and Auditorium. So many buildings were reconstructed after the earthquake and these buildings and reconstruction plan became the base of the present campus, and are still unchanged.

Through these old maps, evidence of the evolution and development of the university can be found, which is an urban memory not only to the university but also to the Hongo area.

2 Redevelopment of the University of Tokyo in the 21st century

The development and redesign of the campus continued even in the 21st century. Photos took by Prof. Nishimura in the last year showed the redesign process of the library and the redevelopment of the open spaces in Hongo campus. In this redesign process, some old trees in the campus were removed and re-configured in order to create a good atmosphere of the open spaces in the campus. Meanwhile the fire-fighting tank in front of the main building was also redeveloped. The interesting findings of these redevelopment process were the discovery of the historic relics of the old university. For example, the find of the foundation of the old library showed the old axis of the campus, based on the help from the old photos. So during the newest redevelopment process of the campus, the plan was to keep some important historic relics, which can help us understand the sequence of the university. As to the appearing new buildings, all of them are in the same design style as the old ones, to create a consistent architectural language for the campus. And during this redesign process, the focus on the details is the key elements not only to the architecture redesign but also to that of the squares. Now the redesign of the Sanshiro Pond, the most important natural garden in the campus, is still under discussion.

3 Interpretation of the campus surrounding under the urban design context

Only by looking at the photos took in recent years of Hongo area, it seems the residential area is a mess and can be very difficult to understand its principles or structures. However, with the help of the historic maps, the interpretation of the urban texture by analyzing the maps can be feasible. Nowadays there is a triangular open space in the Hongo area, which seems useless and quite difficult to interpret by the passerby. In Prof. Nishimura’s eyes, this corner is a key element and the clue to interpret the neighbor’s urban texture. By looking at the old photo took in 1953 of the same corner, we can understand the function it exerted at that time. And by comparing the different functions and situations of the same place of different period, the meaning of the urban texture appears. Another unique phenomenon about this neighbor is the indirect connect of the road systems as well as the houses. The main reason for this phenomenon relies on the historic reasons. Since different parts of the neighbor belong to different individuals, and the developments were conducted step by step through different stages. Different periods have different systems on road as well as the axis system. In the opinion of Prof. Nishimura, understanding of the history is the best way for the further urban plan and redesign.

4 Discussion between Prof. Nishimura and Prof. Jurgen

In Prof. Jurgen’s opinion, the restore and the redesign methods followed with the traditional pattern in Japan is a way to show the appreciation and the understanding of the history. While as Prof. Nishimura concerns, the design based on the understanding of the surroundings and background is of significant values. And both of them expressed such an idea that the concept and values reflected on the private owned gardens in such a high density area contributed a lot to the special features of the neighbor’s atmosphere as well as to the local identity.

—— Recorded by Xiang ZHOU, PhD student at the Territorial Design Lab

西村幸夫(にしむら・ゆきお)
東京大学大学院工学系研究科都市工学専攻・教授/東京大学先端科学技術研究センター所長