Tohoku Small Projects

Kokoro Shelter Fire Fighter’s House
by Takasaki Architects

JA+U : Kokoro Shelter Fire Fighter’s House by Takasaki Architect © Shinkenchiku-sha

The town of Yamada, Iwate Prefecture, was one of the areas hit hardest by the tsunami on March 11th, 2011. The town’s volunteer firefighters helped others during the event, despite the fact that many of them – mostly fishermen – lost their own homes and jobs. Tokyo-based architect Masaharu Takasaki designed a 26.5 m2 (285.2 ft2) house – called Kokoro (Heart / Soul) Shelter – for local volunteer firefighters to gather and communicate.

JA+U : Kokoro Shelter Fire Fighter’s House by Takasaki Architect © Shinkenchiku-sha

JA+U : Kokoro Shelter Fire Fighter’s House by Takasaki Architect © Takasaki Architect

Axonometric structural diagram courtesy of architect

The house contains a community room, kitchen, and a porch. It utilizes low-cost wooden structure.

JA+U : Kokoro Shelter Fire Fighter’s House by Takasaki Architect © Shinkenchiku-sha

 

Miyako Project – Odense –
by Ritsumeikan University Munemoto Lab + Shinsaku Munemoto Architects & Associates

JA+U : Miyako Project – Odense – by Ritsumeikan University Munemoto Lab + Shinsaku Munemoto Architects & Associates © Shinkenchiku-sha

JA+U : Miyako Project – Odense – by Ritsumeikan University Munemoto Lab + Shinsaku Munemoto Architects & Associates © Shinsaku Munemoto Architects & Associates

Section courtesy of architect

Kyoto-based architect Shinsaku Munemoto and architecture students from Ritsumeikan University worked with the local carpenters to build this 85.8 m2 (923.5 ft2) community center in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture. The half truncated icosahedron (think soccer ball) was built from hexagonal wooden panels. The pentagonal facets are windows covered with easy-to-obtain plastic film.

JA+U : Miyako Project – Odense – by Ritsumeikan University Munemoto Lab + Shinsaku Munemoto Architects & Associates © Shinkenchiku-sha

Architect has measured the interior temperature of the building and the improvements will be reflected in a new version – Odense 2 – which is currently under construction.

 

Home-for-All in Heita
by Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop

JA+U : Home-for-All in Heita by Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop © Shinkenchiku-sha

In Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, architect Riken Yamamoto designed a cafe by day / izakaya – Japanese-style bar – at night. This little watering hole is located next to one of the temporary housing complexes where the displaced still live.

JA+U : Home-for-All in Heita by Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop © Shinkenchiku-sha

JA+U : Home-for-All in Heita by Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop © Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop

Plan courtesy of architect

JA+U : Home-for-All in Heita by Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop © Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop

Plan courtesy of architect

JA+U : Home-for-All in Heita by Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop © Shinkenchiku-sha

At night, the glowing roof can be seen among the temporary steel houses. It welcomes the displaced residents to come inside and chat to friends old and new, hopefully alleviating their sense of isolation and desperation.

 

Home-for-All for Kamaishi Shopping Street
by Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects + Ito Juku

JA+U : Home-for-All for Kamaishi Shopping Street by Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects + Ito Juku © Shinkenchiku-sha

Soon after the disaster, architect Toyo Ito initiated the “Home-for-All” project for the Tohoku region with the aim of creating living-room-like communal spaces for local residents.

JA+U : Home-for-All for Kamaishi Shopping Street by Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects + Ito Juku © Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects

Photography courtesy of architect

JA+U : Home-for-All for Kamaishi Shopping Street by Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects + Ito Juku © Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects

Photography courtesy of architect

This “home” in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, is located along the city’s main shopping street. The design came about through workshops with the @Rias NPO Support Center from Kamaishi. The construction was done in collaboration with the residents of nearby temporary houses and students of Ito Juku (an architecture school led by Toyo Ito).

JA+U : Home-for-All for Kamaishi Shopping Street by Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects + Ito Juku © Shinkenchiku-sha

JA+U : Home-for-All for Kamaishi Shopping Street by Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects + Ito Juku © Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects

Plan courtesy of architect

JA+U : Home-for-All for Kamaishi Shopping Street by Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects + Ito Juku © Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects

Section courtesy of architect

The 67.6 m2 (727.6 ft2) communal space is a composite wood and steel structure with concrete-block walls. The columnless space is built on the 2.135 meter (7 feet) module. The locals have been hosting events, such as city planning workshops and cooking classes, or just stopping by for a chat with friends.