‘gassho’ by koji kakiuchi / yaomitsu designing department in iwate, japan
all images courtesy koji kakiuchi / yaomitsu designing department
japanese architect koji kakiuchi / yaomitsu designing department has sent us images of ‘gassho’,
a small open-air shelter in iwate, japan. conceived at a scale of a DIY project, the construction sits on
the remaining concrete foundations of homes that were swept away during the march 2011 tsunami,
seeking to provide a space for victims to meet and exchange about their past, present and future.
using traditional japanese construction methods, the simple cabin form was derived from
the shape of hands joining together in meditation or prayer. the self-structuralizing composition
rests on the extruded concrete frames of an old building, providing shelter above the footprint of
what once was a room. the surrounding boxes are planted with flowers that will bloom around
the wooden shelter with time.
by providing a simple space of retreat that respects and draws focus to the architectural remnants of
the past, the project involves the notion of memory and time into its construct. the simple frames,
which took 8 hours to assemble, also encourages similar modest buildings to be built by people
and local citizens across the area.
concrete foundation site
opening looking outwards
frame construction from interior
floor area: 7.29 m2
architect: koji kakiuchi
flower bed design: katsuhiro miyamoto
architecture contractor: tsuji corporation + volunteer
flower bed contractor: miyamoto laboratory, osaka city university + volunteers
project sponsor: kansai architects volunteers