kengo kuma + associates: center for the elderly in rikuzentakata
kengo kuma + associates: center for the elderly in rikuzentakata kengo kuma + associates: center for the elderly in rikuzentakata
mar 22, 2012

kengo kuma + associates: center for the elderly in rikuzentakata

kengo kuma + associates: center for the elderly in rikuzentakata all images courtesy of kuma lab

a year after the tsunami destroyed the city of rikuzentakata, japan, an emerging collaborative project by tokyo-based practice kengo kuma + associates, kuma lab at the university of tokyo, italians for tohoku volunteer association, the embassy of italy in japan and the town of sant’egidio will offer the elderly of the city a new community center. the shell is conceptually derived from the lotus leaf, an organism which floats on the surface of water symbolizing the delicate relationship between life and nature. paving a path to design architecture with its surroundings, the structure is set upon a forested mound and is formed with local wood from kasennuma, another area affected by the disaster. local carpenters will construct the 220 square meter building.

the project will offer a public space with social and cultural value for residents, attempting to restore faith between humans and their natural environment. the physical and spiritual reconstruction is intended to energize the individuals and encourage them to find joy.

aerial view of structure

site plan

floor plan / level 1


site section

lotus leaf

project info:

location: rikuzentakata, iwate principal use: public facility site area: 1000 m2 total floor area: 220 m2 number of stories: 1 structure: timber frame concept and project by: kengo kuma and associates: jun shibata, kazuyo nishida, hiroaki saito university of tokyo, kengo kuma lab: matteo belfiore, salvator-john a. liotta organization: comunità sant’egidio, italians for tohoku endorsed by: the embassy of italy in japan, structural engineer: jun sato

  • Cool as ice!

    t says:
  • Envie de rentrer dans cette magnifique coquille quand les éléments se déchainent. Italiens +Japonais: le must du Design.

    Maia says:
  • i like this project from tony more, it is easier to build too

    UEVPD says:
  • I like the way the structure could possible be made by the people who will use the structure with the help of younger active members of the local community. Has there been any studies done on how long it would take to erect the roof structure so the facility could be used very fast after this kind of an event.

    The secret is getting this nice idea up and running within several days after an event like this. I feel you need to bring in expatriates to help the community erect quickly since Japanese can never make up there mind.


    brian 03 24 12

    brian madden dubey says:
  • That curve is beautiful, distribution simple and efficient. Well done, congratulations.

    df says:

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