Maeamihama Public Housing

2011 -

This was a plan for relocation to high ground of a small fishing village devastated by the tsunami during the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. Located on a ria coastline (with many fjord-like coastal inlets), it was a classic fishing village, with houses densely clustered along narrow, sloping lanes. Only five of the 23 houses remained, and the community was slated to relocate to higher ground as part of the “group relocation for disaster mitigation” the authorities promoted in the aftermath of the disaster. However, there was no suitable flat land in the vicinity, and I created a proposal for building on the steep 30-degree slope above the village site, as if extending the spatial system of the former community further up the hillside. The plan was for reinforced concrete slabs, on which residences are built, to be supported by leaning retaining walls and buttress-like corbels jutting out from them, which provide stability on terrain topographically resembling a mortar (as in a mortar and pestle). The success of the plan depended on integrating civil engineering and architecture. Unfortunately it was not built due to systemic restrictions on the collective relocation project, and it was decided that the community would relocate to a flat area atop a ridge 1.5 kilometers from the port, despite its being a fishing village.

location Ishinomaki City, Miyagi
principal use Public housing ( “group relocation for disaster mitigation”)
construction area 2,180m2
structure reinforced concrete, wood
2 stories, 14 houses