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Miyakonojo Civic Center

Half a century ago, metabolist Kiyonori Kikutake conceived of a building that was monstrous within its context. The Miyakonojo civic center, an icon of Kikutake’s core beliefs, was demolished in 2019 with over 80% of residents voting for its destruction. The nature of this remote semester brought a unique opportunity to revisit the “monster” who failed to metabolize, to rethink open work, and the simple task of doubling. Our team raised questions such as “How does one double something that no longer exists?” “What is the definition of Civic Space today?”. Ultimately, we propose a simple solution to rebuild the building again. We define doubling as doing it again, and as the multiplication of volume. Looking back to look forward, we identified the artificial ground as the key focus of our rebuild. Like a stone in a pond that casts rings of ripples to its surrounding parts, the artificial ground dictated how we designed the rest of the civic center. The end condition is perhaps never final; one that can not be claimed ours, but subjected to decades of future reuse and reinterpretation. In the end, doubling becomes the most sincere form of open work.