Awaji Yumebutai is a complex of a conference center, a hotel, an open-air theatre, and also a memorial in Awaji, Hyōgo, Japan. Designed by the famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando. the original structure was planned to be completed in 1998, coinciding with the opening of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. However, Tadao Ando had to make changes after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake hit the region in 1995. With Awaji island as the epicenter, the earthquake took 6000 lives. So, the complex had to be a kind of symbol of the devastated cities.
The main idea behind Awaji Yumebutai, literally meaning “the place of dreams,” was to mend the damaged landscape and cover it through forestation. In this way, the structure both helps overcome the tragedy and celebrates nature.
The Hyakudanen, meaning “the 100 Stepped Garden,” is one of the most impressive parts of the complex. The hundred actually refers to the number of square gardens, and there are 1575 steps and 235 flights. The cascading terraces lie at the highest point of the complex. The visitors can reach the gardens through the free-standing elevator leading to the lowest square.