May 2003, Murayama. We had heard on the news that the Nissan factory had been shut down, but seeing the flat expanse where it once stood was quite a surprise. The pavement had been removed from the two-kilometer, north-south test course, but the topography of the banks was still visible. Our immediate task was to create a "place where all people would feel at peace and be moved to pray" on the site, with a completion date of 2036. It was mind-boggling to think that more than 30 years lay ahead.
In April 2004, we visited Central Asia for the first time. It took over a week just to get to the three proposed lots. We held discussions with each of the clients and a variety of specialists as we made our way around. In the process, we had a chance to see the amazing landscapes of the Silk Road.
August 2005, Ho Chi Minh City. We had been invited to take part in an international competition. The suburban edge of the Mekong Delta has yet to be built up, and the only way we could get to the lot was by boat. The banks of the river were thick with mangroves. The climate is definitely hot, but the breezes are comforting. This turned out to be our favorite lot of any of our projects.
In this exhibition, we would like to introduce three projects that we happened to get involved with, all of which are now underway. Each site has a completely different culture and climate. What they have in common is a "huge lot." We are currently in the process of designing them, so we haven't yet decided on a final proposal. What you see here are the "forms" that we have "come up with." We will continue to think about the projects as we make more and more trips to the lots. At this point, what we're doing might best be described as "cultivating."