ArchiAid Annual Report 2012

JA+U: ArchiAid Annual Report 2012 by ArchiAid – Relief and Recovery by Architects for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami

ArchiAid is a reconstruction support network of architects jointly working toward the revival of the disaster-stricken areas in Tohoku, Japan. Recently, they released the annual report for the year 2012 which introduces various projects such as reconstruction plans in Oshika Peninsula, Ishinomaki and Shichirigahama, exhibitions, and working groups investigating the problems and possibilities in different towns in northeastern Japan. The collaborative relationship the architects have built with the residents, students from around the world, and many others suggest the possibility for reconstructing the towns to become something more sustainable – economically as well as environmentally – than what they were prior to the disaster.

Below are some of the projects they initiated. Full report in PDF is available on their website.

JA+U: ArchiAid Annual Report 2012 by ArchiAid – Relief and Recovery by Architects for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami © Takumi Ota

"Lost Homes" Restoration Model:Inner bay in Kesennuma / Production: Kobe University Tsukihashi Design lab
Photo by Takumi Ota

Shortly after the earthquake and tsunami that happened on March 11, 2011, “Lost Homes” Model Restoration Project was born from a discussion among students about ways to use the network of architects and universities to help more people get involved with regional reconstruction efforts. The project aims to reproduce an architectural model of the homes as they were before the disaster on a 1/500 scale in one square meter units. So far, research labs at 22 universities have participated, and more than 500 architecture students have participated. The plan to produce models of 33 areas of the 3 prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima has expanded into 120 models.

JA+U: ArchiAid Annual Report 2012 by ArchiAid – Relief and Recovery by Architects for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami © Takumi Ota

“Lost Homes” Gallery Reading Kesennuma - inner bay / after the performance
Photo by Takumi Ota

Since the second year of the project, after the summer of 2012, the models have been transported to the local areas, and local people have been interviewed about their memories of the homes. Their memories were then displayed above the models as “flags of memories,” and an oral history of the regions was also collected at the same time to be used as part of an earnest effort to create a “Town of Memories: Commemoration Workshop.” The students who worked on the restoration models are now cooperating with local residents on a plan to bring the memories of these lost homes to life.

JA+U: ArchiAid Annual Report 2012 by ArchiAid – Relief and Recovery by Architects for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami © Archiaid

Hearing session with local residents at Summer Camp 2012 x MOOM
© ArchiAid

The “Peninsula Support Study Meeting” derived from “Summer Camp” held in July of 2011 where fifteen university teams conducted short-term, intensive and all-encompassing surveys of conditions in the disaster affected areas. In October 2011, became involved with the “Group Relocation” for Disaster Mitigation initiative, giving advice about plans for multi-unit housing in relocation areas. The teams did have architects participating on them as instructors, but even the architects had almost no prior experience in disaster mitigation. And so the “Peninsula Support Study Meeting” was launched to enable all of the teams to share information. Shortly thereafter the Oshika Peninsula team joined in, as did Ogatsu Studio, which was continuing to provide support to the Ogatsu Peninsula, and SANAA, which was conducting recovery activity on Miyato Island. These groups continue to meet once every month in Tokyo.

JA+U: ArchiAid Annual Report 2012 by ArchiAid – Relief and Recovery by Architects for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami © ArchiAid

Activity of interns at Summer Camp 2012
© ArchiAid

While fishing, forestry, or both is the main industry in many of the towns, other towns rely mainly on tourism. Students and professors from universities are faced with different problems unique to the towns they are working with. They continue to work jointly as a network of architects in support of reviving the homes and lives of the residents.

JA+U: ArchiAid Annual Report 2012 by ArchiAid – Relief and Recovery by Architects for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami © Archiaid

Nagashizu BanyaⅡ at Minami-Sanriku town
© ArchiAid

JA+U: ArchiAid Annual Report 2012 by ArchiAid – Relief and Recovery by Architects for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami © Yasutoshi Koimizu

Tomarihama, Oshika Peninsula / August 25th, 2012
photo by Yasutoshi Koimizu