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LEAF Awards 2013 Winner: Emergency Supply Warehouse

Best Sustainable Development (Social)
Yasuhiro Yamashita and Atelier Tekuto, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

Vast areas of farmland in Minami Sanriku were damaged by seawater from the tsunami caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Huge amounts of salt-damaged earth was no longer usable for farming, and residents did not know what to do with it. Using earth as a construction material, an emergency supply warehouse was build. A new construction method was developed using the Minami Sanriku earth.

During the construction process, workshops were held with local residents, local corporations and many volunteers. Earth bricks were made, laid and built – since earth-brick making doesn’t require any special skill or technique, many of those who were temporarily living in the evacuation centres participated in the workshops.

Client: Residents of disaster-stricken area in Minami Sanriku
Size of project: 9.98m²
Cost: 1 million yen
Start date: October 2012
Completion date: December 2012

LEAF Awards jury statement

This is an excellent disaster restoration project by the architect, further inspirational evidence of his longstanding mission to explore new possibilities of local materials in collaboration with local governments, universities, communities and local businesses and to use design to help give support to environmentally sound communities in a sustainable manner. The architect Yashuhiro Yamashita, founder of Atelier Tekuto, has founded two bodies in Japan since 1997 dedicated to support post-disaster reconstruction projects, offer good quality houses with low construction cost efficiently, and a collaborative network to support community planning and revitalization and various cultural activities.

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