Rikuzentakata Centre

Building hope in Japan

Celebrated architect Kengo Kuma is one
of the great creators of our generation. His work is meditative, functional and
poetic, and is renowned for its master craftsmanship in natural materials,
especially wood.

Recently Kuma has collaborated
with the Community
of Sant’Egidio, Italians
for Tohoku volunteer association, the Embassy of Italy in Japan,
and Kuma
Lab of the University of Tokyo, to propose a new meeting centre for
the elderly people in Rikuzentakata, a city which was almost entirely destroyed
by the 11th March tsunami back in 2011.

His vision is to re-establish
faith in the balance between human beings and nature. It is a structure designed
as a space for finding balance, deeper spiritual contemplation and connection.

The project is inspired by the lotus leaf which
symbolically lives floating on the water. The centre is to be built using local
carpenters and wood from the neighbouring area of Kasennuma, which was also hit
by the tsunami.