Akahama Covered Alley Updates - 赤浜地区仮設住宅の雁木で育てる小さなコミュニティプロジェクト アップデート

Akahama Covered Alley Updates - 赤浜地区仮設住宅の雁木で育てる小さなコミュニティプロジェクト アップデート

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Jan 30, 2012
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The first phase of the Akahama Covered Alley was completed on January 6, 2012. The Alley project was the second place winner of the first round of Build Back Better Tohoku, connecting hillside "temporary" residential units.

The contractor built this beautiful staircase using local lumber and traditional building technique.

Now we are going to finish constructing three more of these to connect separate temporary housing units to provide a safer way to move around the complex.

Akahama village lost 100 residents out of 900 for the earthquake and tsunami. Most of them moved into the temporary housing. The Akahama community with the help from NPO (non-profit organization) Midori-no-ie School proposed a covered alley between units built on a slope in order to connect upper units and lower units. Currently, residents have to walk on a steep slope; the village is worried winter snow and ice will make the slope extremely dangerous. The residents are encouraged to lend their hands on construction and cultivate a sense of community. The stairs and roof are designed to reflect the traditional architecture as well as utilize local materials.

Though the government’s plan is to close temporary housing in two years, residents are prepared to be there for much longer-a hard lesson learned from 1995 Kobe Earthquake. The slow reconstruction of Kobe delayed relocation to original houses or newly developed public housing.

Today, because of the random placement of residents and the callous layout of temporary units, the sense of community is dissipated. It is an aim of designers to encourage interaction through landing benches built into the alley stairways.

For more information, see the Akahama project page.