■RESTORATION AFTER THE DISASTER BY LOCAL INDUSTRIES X ARCHITECTS Village-like contemporary housing unit complex, constructed in a devastated area of East Japan Earthquakes, merges into its surrounding natural landscape. This housing complex is the result of collaborative works between local carpenters and architects’ urban master planning. It shows how humanitarian aid could possibly work.
■WOODEN TEMPORARY HOUSING UNITS BY SUMITA TOWN Sumita, a part of Kesen region, is a neighboring town nearby Rikuzentakata. This housing complex is constituted of this town’s “temporary wooden housing unit.” Before the earthquake, Sumita town had obtained a certification from Forest Stewardship Council, and is now utilizing before the earthquake’s already developed Kesen cedar based housing system with local carpenters (known as “Kesen Daiku”). This system, characterized by a rapid workflow in electricity and machinery lacking situations, has a delicate attitude toward environment. Low voltage power generators’ lumber saws, machinery-free wooden structure system, paneling wall system, ease unit construction including relocation and removal process. After several years, these houses will be recycled to pellet stove fuel. This housing system is a fruit of passion regarding local technologies.
■LIGHT MASTER PLANNING AND INFRASTRUCTURE Architects evaluated existing infrastructures on site and planned housing organization. This “organization” was the key concept for the design we proposed. The site is a camping field with steep slopes like terraced rice fields. It was then divided into pieces of land. By utilizing existing infrastructure, the project was planned to preserve its surrounding natural landscape, to reduce construction period, and to enable the future restoration of original environment. Housing units were arranged to maximize space possibilities. Each house visual axis is specifically oriented to enable views from interior while creating exterior spaces. As a result, this strategy established possibilities for resident to interact with others through gardens, while appropriately protecting private spaces. Even this housing complex is recently built, it has an ever-lasting “village-like” atmosphere.
■ “LINKING DESIGN” UTILIZING LOCAL RESOURCES In the local communities exist rich human, material, and social structure resources. From an external perspective, architects evaluate, relocate, and organize space. Instead of inserting “fullpackage supports” from outside, our attitude was to “link” local resources. That is , we believe, a way to understand design needed in the restoration process.
■ARCHITECTS’ ROLE Some architects, by their refugees or reconstruction projects, are creating an image where architect role is to be expected to design “eccentric” buildings. In this context, our project lacks magnificence. The aggregation of delicate design would enhance long-term restoration of lost context. Architects interpret the given conditions and should be expected not only to focus on superficial design but also to enhance their professional vision. We believe the role of architects is to be searched within this attitude.
■DATA SHEET Name: Temporary Housing of Rikuzentakata Housing Unit Design: Sumita Housing Industry Corporation (Kazuhito Nakano) Infrastructure and Master plan Design: SUGAWARADAISUKE (Daisuke Sugawara) + Masayuki Harada Construction: Sumita Housing Industry Corporation Photographer: Takumi Ota Location: Otomo-cho Usozawa, Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Pref. Design Period: Mar. 2011 - May 2011 Construction Period: May 2011 – Jul. 2011