ROOM UNDER A SLAG HEAP

(Contemplative space in a valley; Turón, Spain; 2002-2004; collaboration with Maki Portilla-Kawamura, Tadanori Yamaguchi and Pedro Escobio) 

In the mining region of Asturias, two contrasting landscapes live side by side: the spectacular post-industrial relics such as abandoned mines and coal slag heaps, and natural landscapes of outstanding beauty. In this border context we proposed an underground room inside an abandoned slag heap next to the mine Pozo Espinos. The restoration and conversion of the premises into an interpretation centre was financed by the regional authorities of the Principado de Asturias.

 

The project recreates in an abstract way the underground feeling inside a coal mine and at the same time it highlights the most remarkable aspects of the surrounding natural-industrial landscape. It consists of an elongated space that allows to be crossed through as in a promenade through the geology, history, ecology and society of this valley that is presently undergoing a deep upheaval.

The belvedere under a slage heap is dedicated to the memory of Yoshi Kawamura whose soul rests in this landscape.