koji kakiuchi: gassho koji kakiuchi: gassho
dec 28, 2011

koji kakiuchi: gassho

‘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.

within context

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

exterior view


opening looking outwards

frame construction from interior

construction shot

physical model

site map


cross section

project info:

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

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