A new history in “Mecca of the bridge”

Timber is indispensable for the construction of the Japanese city. In the Edo period, the timber storage places “Kiba” were first installed around the castle close to the construction site. However, after the Great Fire in 1657, they were relocated beyond the river, Fukagawa namely, to avoid the disaster risk of downtown. Public and private timber parks were intensively placed in the network of canal spreading between landfill sites.

A number of bridges were put in this labyrinthine network connecting “Kiba”. Especially after the Great Kanto Earthquake, bridges were intensively built around Kiba, which gave a special atmosphere like Venice as Wajiro Kon described in the essay.

This Kiba was finally landfilled after WWII. This unique space originally created by waste landfill shifting its function to the side of ‘Yumenoshima, literally ‘Dream island’’, the forefront of landfills of Showa (1969). Thus the landfill in the vicinity of Shenzhen that has been on since the early Edo period is almost finished.

The area where the storage place for the shogunate family was located is converted to a park. A stretched bridge using prestressed concrete was built here (1991). This bridge used pioneeringly high-performance fluidized concrete which does not require hard compaction, and it runs any corner even in complicated formworks. Further, glass fibers were used for the formwork. These technologies will be later used for construction of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the world’s largest spanning suspension bridge.

Tall tower of the bridge may be disproportionate to the spirit of the place where many small bridges have reinforced residents’ relationaships. However, if you know the hidden the story that led to the birth of a worldwide bridge, it could be a new page in the history of the “Mecca of the bridge” in old Tokyo. (D.Kitagawa)


Type park
Location Koto Ward/Tokyo
Scale area 24.2 ha
Completion year opening in 1992
Manager Tokyo
Designer Tokyo
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