9/25/2011

Towards a new Tohoku. Some suggestions by students in architecture

Japanese Students in architecture and urban design take part in the reconstruction of Tohoku, northeastern Japan, too, according to Edan Corkill in an article titled Students' skills help to forge a new Tohoku published in The Japan Times of Sunday 25th September. Here is an abstract of Edan Corkill's report:
Changing Lives. Reconstruction plans for the Tohoku, Japan. Photo credits: Yoshiaki Miura Photos
>  As part of the ArchiAid Summer Camp in July, University of Tokyo students, along with architect Teppei Fujiwara, created a redevelopment plan for Hamagurihama on the Oshika Peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture that involved the recolation of houses (indicated in red) to higher ground; Tokyo University of Science students, with architecture firm Salhaus, drew up a plan for Ajishima Island off the peninsula that used many houses left empty due to depopulation (indicated in blue); a plan for Tomarihama on the Oshika Peninsula by students from the Tokyo Metropolitan University; Toyo University students created this plan for Koamikurahama on the peninsula, including hillside settlements safe from any future tsunami; Yokohama Graduate School of Architecture students worked on this plan for the Oshika town of Ayukawahama; and Kyoto Institute of Technology and Kobe University found a means of moving key infrastructure to higher ground at Kugunarihama on the peninsula.

In late July, when the students of Osaka Institute of Technology's Department of Architecture first arrived at the tiny port of Oharahama, an air of negativity hung over the conversation of the locals.
"They were full of questions: Why did this have to happen to them? When were they going to be able to move into temporary housing?" foruth-year student Yuki Imamura recalled the survivors saying in this settlement that was one of about 30 virtually swept off the Oshika Peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture by the March 11 tsunami. (…)
"We had a 1:1,000-scale relief model of their village's topography with us, and the moment we showed it to them, their mood changed. They could see how their houses could be moved to higher ground, and that facilities could be rebuilt. It was like they suddenly got a glimpse of their future," Imumara said.

The following images give an outlook of these fascinating design proposals:
A drawing of the port at Ayukawahama reborn with tourism facilities including cafes © ArchiAid
Consensus builders:
> Professor Masao Koizumi of Tokyo Metropolitan University work with students on proposals for redeveloping Tomarihama in Miyaga Prefecture (above) and shows them to the local residents (below), who themselves made enthusiastic contributions to the redevelopment project during the ArchiAid summer
camp. © Tokyo Metropilitan University
Consensus builders © Tokyo Metropolitan University

More: here. As for ArchiAid, you can also check out: here (but its in Japanese). In English, you will find an interesting interview of Yasuaki Onoda, cofounder of ArchiAid and professor at Tohoku University's Department of Architecture in Sendai, and collaborator with Toyo Ito on the Sendai Mediatheque Building, on the website of Dwell.



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