This public building commissioned by the Hyogo Prefecture is located in Miki in parkland created after the devastating earthquake of Hanshin-Awaji in 1995.
The complex has a dual function: first, as a disaster management centre; second, as a sports complex with nine tennis courts whose centre court is surrounded by 1500 spectator seats and is fully compliant with international competition regulations.
Form and structure conform to the building’s main function. The main constraint was to provide a huge, pillar-free space. In an emergency, vehicles must be able to enter the interior unhampered and there must be sufficient space to pitch rows of relief tents. In other words, although under cover, the area must be as flexible as a wide, open space.
This clashed, however, with the regulations for a complex hosting 1500 tennis match spectators where completely open spaces are...