Temple of Consumption
Shiny temple burns
not incense but city waste.
Shrine to consumption.
At the end of Hiroshima’s main boulevard there’s a dazzling building that’s both technology museum and tourist attraction. And neither of these things. Curiously, this building is the city’s waste processing plant.
The Naka Waste Plant is a state of the art construction (the same architect designed New York’s MOMI) with a glass tunnel running through it that leads to the sea. From this tunnel, or ‘Ecorium’, people can watch their rubbish burn. Except there’s nothing as dirty as rubbish on view. It’s all squeaky clean (workers are rumoured to take their shoes off before going in) and silver lined.
The idea is that in an overpopulated city, with a growing problem of rubbish and how to dispose of it, if people could see the waste production for themselves, they might produce less waste. That’s the theory anyway.