A Year Later: Rebuilding a Community Space After the Earthquake in Japan

On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit Japan’s eastern coast, triggering a massive tidal wave that left 310,000 people homeless, 23,000 dead or missing, and a cluster of nuclear reactors unstable. Hiroto Kobayashi, an architect and professor at Keio University, plans to bring the community together again by building a community meeting place and bathhouse. The building will house men and women’s changing rooms and provide a multipurpose space.

Due to lack of supplies and skilled labor, Kobayashi and his students created a clever construction system using interlocking plywood panels, which can be easily assembled by the team with simple hand tools. The project is set for spring completion.

Photos: Architectural Record

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