As of May 2012, five projects are currently underway in Tohoku, managed by Architecture for Humanity design fellows. Each project addresses an "urban acupuncture" approach to reconstruction: precise public or community interventions that create a ripple effect to entire towns and regions. Our Japan team is working directly with communities to first assess their needs and then oversee development of buildings and structures seen as vital for communities with few other accessible design resources.
AKAHAMA COVERED ALLEY – PHASE 1 COMPLETED, PHASE 2 IN PROGRESS Otsuchi-cho, Kamihei-gun, IwateDesigned by Shizuyo Shiba
SUMMARYThe first set of four covered stairways was built by the end of December 2012. The stairway was constructed with the traditional Japanese joinery. The quality of work granted them the second phase of the project to complete all covered stairs, connecting all five buildings.
The second phase construction began immediately after the phase one, but, due to the snowy winter weather in Tohoku, the outside construction work has been slowed significantly. The carpenters have been working inside cutting lumber and preparing for the second phase of work. As soon as weather permits, construction will recommence on the remaining stairs.
Start of construction is forecasted to be: End of June 2012. Construction duration forecasted to be: 6 to 8 weeks
IMPACT• 800 residents of Akahama Temporary Housing Complex in Otsuchi, Iwate prefecture
SHIZUGAWA BANYA - IN PROGRESSShizugawa, Minami-sanriku-cho, MiyagiDesigned by Takaharu Saito
SUMMARYAfter a long negotiation with the design/build firm, and design workshops with the fishermen we are finally in the construction phase. The pre-fabricated structure will be delivered in late-May, and the construction is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2012.
IMPACT• 15 Motohama fishermen• 100 community members
SCHEDULEBeginning of April 2012 – Construction documents, Building permitMid-April – Mid-May 2012 FabricationMid-May – End of May 2012 Site workJune1, 2012 – June 25,2012 Container installationJune 30, 2012 – Construction complete
CHALLENGES AHEADThese fishermen are desperately in need of the banya because of the harsh weather. We are monitoring the schedule and the cost closely in order to provide the structure as soon as possible.
OSHIKA HOUSE - IN PROGRESSAyukawa-hama, Ishinomaki, MiyagiDesigned by Doogs Design
SUMMARYThe community partner called “Tumugiya” and the Women’s Group of Oshika Peninsula Fishing Union in Ayukawa-hama named “Mermamaid” have been facing challenge after challenge.
First, the local government told them that the road in front of the planned construction site might be raised in future. Therefore they have to find the solution so that the building can be easily dismantled and reassembled if they need to relocate.
Their next challenge was that a local carpenter in Oshika Peninsula whom they would like to work with became unavailable for this project. They have to expand their search for a new contractor to Tokyo, because there is a serious shortage of labor throughout Tohoku. Finally they found a builder in Tokyo to take on this project.
IMPACT• 7 Mermamaid members and their families• Approximately 1,000 Ayukawahama residents
SCHEDULEMid-March 2012 - Construction Document completedApril 2012 - Final cost estimate and adjustment (if necessary) by the selected contractor, Building permitMay – July 2012 - ConstructionBeginning of August 2012 - Construction complete
HIKADO MARKETPLACE - COMPLETED
SUMMARYThe covered wooden deck made of salvaged timber from the tsunami was completed in June 2011. The owner, carpenters and all parties involved making this a reality had a big opening celebration in July. In the beginning of August, people from three neighboring communities had a very successful annual summer festival. Now, people that have moved into nearby temporary housing come and enjoy a bowl of ramen noodles for lunch and a glass of cold beer after work.
IMPACT• 3 shop owners• Community members of Motoyoshi (approximated population of the town is 12,000)• Tourists
CONSTRUCTION COST$9,100 construction grant
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