William Tin Wai Leung

Thesis Supervisor: A/P Dr. Zhang Ye

Site: Hirono-cho, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

The nuclear fallout at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant caused by the triple disasters in March 2011 still haunts and affected many parties till this day. The daily lives of victims are disrupted, lost their homes, jobs, communities and their way of life.


The aim of the thesis is by utilising the event of the marathon games during the Olympics, Tokyo 2020 as an opportunity to rejuvenate and aid the towns affected by addressing the lingering stigma of the radiation fallout. This is done so by empowering the current remnants of the residents in Hirono-cho and attract back the previously dispersed evacuees, and return their lives

back to normalcy, pre-disaster.


The masterplan is generally carried out in 3 phrases: primarily, the current situation of the site, secondly, during the Marathon games and lastly, Post-Olympics games which will potentially lead to a new Olympic legacy. This thesis portrays the re-imagination of how traditional marathon could be conducted on an urban scale and transformed into an unique landscape. And as bananas are consumed as a main source of energy during the games, an agricultural opportunity presents itself, forming a widespread network of infrastructures to supplement the consumption of bananas. 

Olympics Marathon Route

One of the key factor impeding the lives of the residents back to normalcy is the lack of economically sustainable argiculture that could aid the economy of the town. As mentioned earlier, by tapping on the opportunity of the mega event, this present the town to captalise on a new agricultural product, Bananas. 

Kit-of-Parts (K.O.P)

These diagrams are extrapolated kits from the conventional stages in tropical banana farming. By extracting the conponents of each stages, the key elements in each processes can be transformed and developed as key architectural concept and elements for the thesis proposal nodes. 

Six Key Nodes: Agritecture

Bananas are considered the most consumed fruits in Japan but without any local production of them, Japan will always face with the issue of food security with that particular fruit. Furthermore, an existing urgent issue pertaining to the fruit is the impending demise of the banana most consumed variety, the Cavandish. A fungal strain of disaster, namely the TR4, is fast spreading and damaging most of the countries depending on the Mono-cultural food crop. 

This is due to the traditional argicultural method of harvesting bananas, which the disease spread easily through soil. New agricultral method are in the midst of research and this thesis also provides insights on how it affects the architectural planning of the production of bananas. 

Node 1 - New agritecture in farming bananas is inspired by the biomimicry of a banana stem cross-section, and its radial configuration serves as the most efficient typology for the growth.

Node 2 - Contain similar DNA to the greenhouses but its core holds a large water reservoir that is mainly used to wash the banana batches from the harvest. Bananas peels also acts as agent for water purification that address the stigma of water contamination from nuclear radiation

Node 3 - The cross junction of the marathon route, serving as an exhibitional tower for audiences/ tourists, the outer frames are rotable that efficiently transports the processed harvest into shipping containers and then pumped with ethylene gases that enhances the fruits’ ripening speed, and then exported to the shipping port.   

Node 6 is the final node of the masterplan, but also a new train station market that tapped on the existing sole train station in the town and the main concept is to also allow better pedestrians flow across the train tracks, also introducing a town market to harmonize the community by providing a congregation node. The station is also the welcoming platform to tourists and audiences alike, and they can travel to other nodes through the cable car on the top level. 

As Autonomous Vehicles (Avs) are going to be introduced as the primary mode of transport within the masterplan, the hub also serves as a terminal for the AVs, a cablecar station and a food composting exhibition that collects food waste such as banana peels from the consumption of the tourists and athletes during the games, and convert the energy into electrical charging for the Avs. 

This proposed shipping port, Node 4, is paramount to the masterplan as Hirono’s future production of bananas could be supplementary to the rest of Japan as local produce. Additionally, using the town existing waste sewage plant, the old and new programs have some synergy within the system - the waste sludge could be recycled as fertilizers and the energy produced from the steam could also be utilised as the cold storage of the reefer containers of 13°C.

Some sectional perspectives and key perspectives are provided in the slide show, showing the various architectural languages and characteristics of various nodes. By tapping on the opportunity provided by the Olympics Games, the attention of the world will be placed on Fukushima, and this also provided the chance to tackle the perception and stigma that the audiences and locals have, mainly on Food, Air and Agriculture. 

All in all, the masterplan hopes to attract back Hirono’s former residents back to its hometown, foster back its community and networks. The banana production, post-games, will provide further job opportunities and a brand new identity to the town, blostering its economy.