Koji Kakiuchi "Gassho"
11. March 2011. The Tsunami washed away the houses. However, only the concrete foundations of the homes were left behind there. Now, I take part in a project to create a place for those who have lost their houses as a volunteer. When I saw the people stand talking together as staring at the remained concrete basement, I thought they could talk about their past, present and future, if there should be a small building.
We constructed a cabin on the concrete foundations with “Gassho” frames in 8 hours. “Gassho” is one of the traditional Japanese construction methods and the name comes from the shape of the hands with joining man’s palms together as if in prayer. I built the roof across the foundation with my feeling of requiem for the victims. This compact and simple composition makes it easier for them to convey how to construct the building, and induces small action of building; DIY. Even if the building completely rots away, the construction technique will live forever. I suggest that not only buildings but also architecture itself weave their memories and times of the place. In the following spring, 1 year later from the earthquake, the cabin with “Gassho” will be filled with flowers. I hope this modest architecture spread out everywhere by the people who visit or see the small cabin and finally new scenery will bloom on the remained foundations.