The Paper Dome New Homeland Scenic Park is located southeast of the Taomi Eco-Village with an area measuring up to 3.5 hectares. The paper dome was designed by an architect Shigeru Ban after the Takatori Church collapsed in the 1995 Osaka-Kobe Earthquake as a temporary site for a summit. After it fulfilled its local mission, the paper dome that symbolized the reconstruction effort, it was shipped all the way to the Taomi community to continue its relief mission.
The church is held up by 58 paper columns and even the bench chairs in the church are made using paper. This was designed to convey the message that materials as soft as paper can hold up a building; the roof, exterior and even the rectangular corridors are both made of fiber-reinforced plastics and sunshine shoots through the roof to present a sacred atmosphere for the church.
The Learning Center next to the church is made of steel, which is bent into all kinds of shapes. The cold and hard steel materials present a sharp contrast with the weak paper materials used to build the church.
Besides serving as stage for special events, the church serves as a symbol for strengthening unity among residents. Thus, its current name “Paper Dome” seems to be a better description for the building.
Besides the two different buildings, the park is also full of ecological features with plants grown throughout the site to attract butterflies. On sunny days, butterflies dance all over the place. The ecological ponds on both sides of the park contain rich aquatic plants, and as it is decorated by wooden restaurants, this park is truly and poetically beautiful.
As you visit this park, besides admiring the buildings, you will feel your spirit lifted by the vitality of human beings in the wake of a disaster.