Sugamo / Station of Caring

The idea of medical care and nursing surrounding the elderly society is changing. From the focus of care where the primary objective is to cure disease and provide life support is shif- ting to where the objective is to maintain and improve the quality of life, not only in physical but also in psychological and sociological sense. It means that older people can be more energized if there is someone who is involved subjectively, rather than being unilaterally aided. On the other hand, the nurses who are part of the institution have moved to the local community as „community nurses“ and are involved in healthy town development together with the residents that are require the attention. Sugamo, which is famous as the “grandmother‘s Harajuku”, the Yamanote line station connects with the Mita Line. The station is full of healthy, elderly people and also users from various generations. In the future when the ticket gate becomes touchless and gateless, and changes are desired in the future, the station turns into a space where elderly people can casually stop by to get together and interact in order to maintain their physiological and sociological health, what would the station look like? The station was turned into a Doma and Engawa space similar to the Gofukuya, a Kimono shop in the Edo period. A toplight is proposed in the Doma to brighten up the circulation space where people may come and go. A warm wood finished Engawa stretches along the both sides of Doma. This is a space where one can sit lightly and take off their shoes to relax and support the multi-generation exchanges that take place. The escalator to the station building is within the Engawa so that the shoppers may also take off their shoes. A friendly Gesokuban, a person who took care customer’s shoes in the Edo period, would now also continue to take care of the shoes. The Gesokuban is an inclusive role that can be played by a person from any generation and is not limited to any one type. Taking care of the people through the role of Gesokuban could become an important task for the people who work in the station. There is also a community nurse ‚s office in a visible place, who interacts with the elderly people that come there. The Engawa could be seen as a barrier at one point but in the same time it creates the opportunity to care and to be taken care of.