Inemuri translates loosely to “sleeping while present”. It describes the practice of sleeping either in public or at work – anywhere else but home really. It is widely accepted in Japan and has even become a sign of dedication and diligence. While the practice is most likely correlated to unhealthy working habits, this project seeks to celebrate sleep as a healthy one. After all, what better way to remedy fatigue than to nap? The building is organized along a “programmatic gradient” that seeks to reorganize certain parts of Meguro district to accommodate people’s sleeping habits. The bulk of the building is centered around the Institute for Nature Study – a botanical garden with forest-like features.
Sleep in Japan is also a crisis of the cultural landscape – of the modes of representation through which society comprehends and appreciates the importance and complexity of the issue.
Giving an architecture to sleep will help people grasp the sometimes very abstract concepts that underlie it. Sleep needs to be seen for it to enter public discourse – and it needs to be experienced to become healthier.