a home for all in rikuzentakata, full scale prototype
a home for all in rikuzentakata, full scale prototype a home for all in rikuzentakata, full scale prototype
jan 26, 2013

a home for all in rikuzentakata, full scale prototype

‘a home for all’ by toyo ito, kumiko inui, sou fujimoto, and akihisa hirata, rikuzentakata, japanimage © kumiko inui




after introducing the various projects in the japanese pavilion of the 2012 venice architecture biennale, the collaborative team of japenese architects including toyo ito, kumiko inui, sou fujimoto, and akihisa hirata have built a full-scale prototype of their gathering house concept open to the public in rikuzentakata. in response to the great east japan earthquake of 2011, the group of architects worked together to explore possible future typologies  for japanese coastal cities that may be prone to similar events. using a system of natural wooden columns like pilotis arranged on a regular grid, the volumes are suspended in a three-dimensional matrix like a complex home on stilts with a relationship on both the horizontal and vertical axes of the different layers of the dwelling, sometimes maintaining the orthogonal nature of the foundations while at others exercising the exception. ‘a home for all’ serves as a gathering space for the thousands of people that were left homeless after the devastating natural disaster.


see designboom’s earlier coverage of the japanese exhibition ‘architecture. possible here? a home for all’ at the 2012 venice architecture biennale, here.

 interiorimage © kumiko inui

finished houseimage © kumiko inui

timber column and beam substructureimage © kumiko inui

constructionimage © ja+u

image © ja+u


model displayed at the japanese pavilion of the same housing proposal image © designboom

left to right: architects kumiko inui, akihisa hirata, commissioner toyo ito, architect sou fujimoto image © designboom

  • is it a waste of trunk?

    slave says:
  • Interesting concept but wouldn’t you build in the hillsides away from future tsunami flood danger…???

    lesson not learnt methinks…

    bibaggins says:
  • beautiful project! makes sense!

    ervin says:
  • I don’t understand this structure in the context off the recent disasters in Japan. This structure appears to be built in spite of the resent disasters that struck Japan. Why tree trunks, why on the ground when it should be, as was earlier noted, in the hills or raised well above ground level. In addition to these questions I can’t help but wonder if these materials are at all practical. It looks like a lot of structure with questionable strength for a little bit of space.
    Please forgive me if I am completely missing the point.
    At its worst it is an offense to the people that we lost in the disaster.

    Ron Smith says:
  • This site is already built on an elevation, it just happens to be flat, overlooking the destroyed sections of town. The very nature of this building is temporary, it is to be a temporary community centre for the residents of Rikuzentakata while they are stuck living inside the cramp spaces of the temporary housing. The tree trunks are salt damage and the trees were dying, so they used these trunks for the temporary structure where the salt damage would have little impact on the structure. I had my doubts at first, but after studying it in depth I am quite impressed by what this building stands for.

    Vincent says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,531 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample