With manga as the focus, COAMIX’s vision is to turn Kumamoto's Aso region into a land of entertainment. The site they have chosen to start this ambitious project is Takamori Town, which they aim to turn into a manga "Silicon Valley."
The first time I heard about this plan was when I was given the opportunity to design the Artists Village, a place surrounded by nature. At that time, COAMIX’s CEO, Nobuhiko Horie, showed me around Takamori Town and told me his vision for the future design of the Artists Village.
We’d like to create an environment where entertainment based on Japanese manga can be shared with the world.
I hope that Aso will become a place where young people who strive to become professional manga creators can grow as human beings as they make new friendships, friendly rivalries, and work diligently to reach their goals.
Although primarily based on manga, I hope that other young artists from various genres can be a part of this story as well.
Additionally, since it will be built in Aso, I hope that the culture and traditions of Aso can be felt through the Artists Village as well.
While listening to his vision, the following thought came to mind.
This is a place where artists are ticking towards their dreams.
As their dreams are marked off in the calendar with each passing day,
they repeatedly feel joy and pain… and before they know it,
their dreams start taking shape under this roof.
Just when I was told about the hopes regarding the design of the Artists Village, the name for the all-female drama group who would be training there was taken into consideration by COAMIX's CEO. Around the same time that the name 096k (okuroku - O’clock) was decided, the motto of the Artists Village, “Ticking towards your dreams,” had been decided as well. This finally marked the first chapter of the Artists Village.
I once heard that “learning begins from the time when adults and children are gathered under the shadows of the trees and talk.” From this image, I wanted to create a place where artists can spend time comfortably and grow. A place that is a treasure trove of knowledge, and at the same time a place, enveloped by a forest, where artists can take a stroll and heal. With this vision I carefully arranged the placement of the buildings and overall design of the landscape.
The Artists Village Aso 096k will surely become a second home to artists who will spend time ticking towards their dreams. I sincerely hope that the architectural design of the Artists Village will help them achieve their dreams.