Recovery Footprint: A Temporary Cabin Set among the Ghosts of Japan’s Lost Houses
January 3, 2012
‘Gassho’; All images: Koji Kakiuchi/Yaomitsu Designing Department
What exists after architecture but its foundations? The receding of the vertical plane by gradual or abrupt change is assured, despite the maintenance that seeks in vain to uphold it. The March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that fell upon the Tohoku coast in Japan is evidence to the inherent vulnerability of building skyward. Many homes were dislodged from the earth and swept up into the sea, leaving behind pocked ground, quarried with subdivided frames of concrete. It’s here, in these ghostly foundations where Japanese architect Koji Kakiuchi, with Yaomitsu Designing Department, has constructed his new project, a temporary communal space “for victims to meet and exchange about their past, present and future.” Continue.
Entitled ‘Gassho’ the project is a humble structure that is poised on the ridges of the concrete remnants. Visually, the all-gable form alludes to the typological sign for home or shelter, while its sheer simplicity and rapid construction–the timber frame was assembled in just eight hours–are an invitation for locals to build their own follies. The angled walls rise over the footprint of a now extinguished room, around which the architects plan to plant flowers in neighboring plots. This, they hope, will transform the bleak setting while enforcing the project’s original intent: to provide the shelter for visitors in repose to reflect on memory and time.