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AZ 2022 Award Winner: Village Inside the Nuclear Power Plant by Sabina Blasiotti

A children’s playground atop a nuclear waste site? The Village Inside the Nuclear Power Plant imagines an inventive — even whimsical — future for a defunct station in Mihama, Japan. Currently, the default approach to decommissioning sees radioactive waste buried in deep geological repositories until it loses potency (which takes hundreds of thousands of years). This strategy is known to be unsustainable. (Furthermore, the Fukushima disaster in 2011 was a painful reminder of the urgent need to rethink our reliance on nuclear energy altogether.)

“Brightening the dark leftovers of human progress, this is an innovative concept.”
Garth Roberts, AZ Awards 2022 Juror
AZ 2022 Award Winner: Village Inside the Nuclear Power Plant by Sabina Blasiotti


Bartlett student Sabina Blasiotti’s thesis proposes the recycling and recovery of nuclear waste, postulating the progress of novel decontamination technologies along the way. Its architectural complexity, meanwhile, is best illustrated by the incorporation of traditional Japanese elements, such as a Shinto sanctuary, into the very heart of the disused power plant; the resolutely futuristic design of the surrounding village, meanwhile, introduces an assortment of offbeat home typologies, from the Discharge House to the Templed Barn. Also part of the richly detailed concept: a range of ceremonial and commercial activities, such as fishing, rice farming and sake brewing.

AZ 2022 Award Winner: Village Inside the Nuclear Power Plant by Sabina Blasiotti

Even if it seems fanciful, this impressively researched project makes a resounding case for the necessity of innovative, sustainable and adaptable ways to decommission nuclear plants and imagine a more hopeful future for the communities — and the land — that surround them.

Winner: A+ Award for Student Work
The Village Inside the Nuclear Power Plant

The Village Inside the Nuclear Power Plant imagines an inventive — even whimsical — future for a defunct station in Mihama, Japan.

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2017
Award of MeritA+ Award for Student Work
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Sharon, U.S.
School
design/buildLAB, Virginia Tech, U.S.
2021
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Team
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School
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2021
Award of MeritA+ Award for Student Work
Location
Bar Harbor, U.S.
Team
Tim Cousin, Natalie Pearl, Latifa Al Khayat and William Marshall
School
MIT School of Architecture and Planning (Instructors: Sheila Kennedy, Rami El Samahy and Cristina Parreno)