Insight #1 – CoFuFun Plaza by Nendo

About 2 weeks ago everyone started talking about the new project of Nendo, CoFuFun Plaza, a 6,000 square meter area located at Tenri Station in Nara, Japan.I got really curious and excited about that new area, and since that I am based in Osaka (1 hour away from Nara) I decided to go check on it by myself, so few days ago I have been there and I took few shots. I thought that it could be nice to share them so you can get also an insight view.

– Project information
– Official pictures
– Insight

Project information /
Nendo’s statement

The project goal was to encourage local community revitalisation by providing a space for events, tourist information dissemination and leisure facilities for local residents.

Tenri’s urban boundaries include a number of ancient Japanese tombs, known as “cofun”. The cofun are beautiful and unmistakeable, but blend into the spaces of everyday life in the city. The plaza’s landscape, richly punctuated by several of these cofun, is a representation of the area’s characteristic geography: the Nara Basin, surrounded on all sides by mountains.

The cofun’s different levels serve a variety of purposes: they’re stairs, but also benches for sitting, fences to enclose playing children, the cafe and stage roofs, shelves for displaying products and the night-time lighting effect, which floods the plaza with light. This variety creates an environment that encourages visitors to explore and spend time in different spaces within the plaza, rather than limiting their movement to one place. It’s a ‘ambiguous’ space that’s entirely a cafe, a playground and a massive piece of furniture, all at once.

CoFuFun Plaza
Official pictures

Station Plaza

Lounge and shop


Few days ago I spent a good 2 hours at CoFuFun. It is a 6,000 square playground, took over by childrens, running, laughing all over the area.
I have been lucky, after the great lunch I had at First Park Kitchen in the loundge part, a japanese drum show appeared and played in the ‘show area’. The atmosphere was quiet cosy, even as a foreigner, I felt being part of the community.

The fact that the plaza’s landscape possess different levels through its cofun shape is truely convenient and make the space super friendly. It encourages the local community to come and enjoy. Everyone definitely appropriated to themselves the entire space.

I would recommend you to stop there if you are coming close by, one day.

Photography, Manon de Vanssay [SANKOO]