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Home-for-All in Rikuzentakata, 2011–12

Toyo Ito, Kumiko Inui, Sou Fujimoto, and
Akihisa Hirata

Home-for-All was born following the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami of 2011. The Home-for-All project was initiated by five architects, including Toyo Ito, Kazuyo Sejima, and Riken Yamamoto. The team members wondered what they could do, both as architects and as individuals who identified with the pain of those living in temporary housing.


Later on, in response to a call initiated by Toyo Ito, three young architects – Kumiko Inui, Sou Fujimoto, and Akihisa Hirata – joined hands in planning an onsite Home-for-All in Rikuzentakata, a city located in the Iwate Prefecture. This Home-for-All responded to the wish expressed by local residents, who requested an observation platform from which they could watch the reconstruction of the city. The team decided to use local wood from Kesen Ceder trees, which had died due to their exposure to salt water, in the hope
that this Home-for-All would become a symbol of recovery from the disaster. 


Home-for-All in Rikuzentakata was completed in November 2012. Since then, 15 Homes-for-All were completed in disaster-stricken areas devastated by the tsunami, and an additional structure is currently under construction. These structures were all built in temporary housing sites and near shopping areas and fishing ports hit by the disaster. They have become quite varied in character, and form gathering places for those residing in temporary housing – places intended to restore communities, enable children to play, and revive the farming and fishing industries.


Toyo Ito, born 1941, graduated from the Department of Architecture at Tokyo University in 1965. He established his own firm, Urban Robot (URBOT), in 1971 (today Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects); Kumiko Inui, born 1969, graduated from the Department of Architecture at Tokyo University of the Arts in 1992, and completed the master’s program at Yale School of Architecture in 1996. She established the Office of Kumiko Inui in 2000. Since 2011, she is Associate Professor at Tokyo University of the Arts; Sou Fujimoto, born 1971, graduated from the Department of Architecture at Tokyo University and established Sou Fujimoto Architects in 2000; Akihisa Hirata, born 1971, graduated from the Department of Architecture at Kyoto University in 1994. In 1997, he received a master’s degree from Kyoto University Graduate School of Engineering. In 2005, he established akihisa hirata architecture office. Since 2015, he is Associate Professor at Kyoto University.

Structural engineer: Jun Sato Structural Engineers Ltd.

Contractor: Shelter Ltd.

Special thanks to: Naoya Hatakeyama; Yohei Hatakeyama (video); Shugo Kanno and Mitsuo Kikuchi (Rikuzentakata residents); Mitsuaki Yoshida, Mikiko Sugawara, Hidetoshi Nakata, and many others.

Sponsors: ARAKAWA & Co.,Yoko Ando Design (textile), Iwaoka (tatami mats), Capitalpaint, KSC (ceiling fan), Sanriku Engineered Wood, Daiko Electric Co. Ltd., TAJIMA ROOFING Inc., Chiyoda Ute Ltd., Tohkoh, Nikkensogyo Ltd., Nisshin Sangyo Ltd., Japan EnviroChemicals Ltd., Japan Fireplace Meister Group, NIPPON PAINT Ltd., Hafele Japan KK, MAG-ISOVER KK, LIXIL Co.

Photo: © Naoya Hatakeyama

Illustration: © akihisa hirata architecture office

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