Learning by doing in Japan

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    volunteers wanted!

    will galloway
    Dec 21, '11 12:28 AM EST

    OK i know most of you aren't in the area, but just in case -  we are looking for people to help put together a community centre in Minami-san-riku.

    The project, led by prof Hiroto Kobayashi, is planned to run from december 24 to january 6.  In the span of 2 weeks the idea is to build the first phase of a community centre to serve a temporary community located next to a highway.

    the project is split into two phases so if you miss this chance don't hesitate to raise your hand for the next half of the project.  as for what is to be done, the first phase is a community meeting space built using a pretty cool and innovative structural system that requires no carpentry skills and almost no hardware or equipment to put together.  the finished building will be about 60 m2 and set the stage for a full-on public bath to be built a few months later using the same methods.

    so far the students and prof kobayashi have worked out the structure with the help of super smart engineering firm Sasaki and Partners.  Since carpenters are in short supply after the disaster, and materials are not always easy to come buy either, they are going to build the whole thing from interlocking plywood sheets. 

    After building a scale model to test the principal the students also built a 1:1 section to test buildability.  So far it seems to work well but the real test is coming in the next days when they do it for real at the site.  Amazingly they are aiming to create a space with a clear 7m span using nothing but pieces of plywood locked together with a simple joint. The exterior finish is still a bit uncertain but it looks like translucent panels with insulation behind is the plan.

    I'll update with pictures once it gets underway, but in the meantime some previews of the work to date below and a website for the project here (sorry japanese only, but there are pictures)

    more to come.  keep tuned!

    • 1 Comment

    • Christopher Sjoberg

      Hoping for the best on the project's success this new years. Wish I could be there, looks like a blast. 

      Dec 25, 11 2:11 am  · 

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About this Blog

keio university's architecture program is probably the best kept secret in the country. Hidden away on a campus an hour from tokyo the curriculum is wide open and connected to a campus-wide project aimed at community-driven innovation. students of economics can take courses in architecture and vice versa but we all are expected to take part in real projects somewhere in the world. there are a few starchitects on the faculty but mostly we are hoping to make a difference.

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