Rebuilding a public facility in an area stricken by the 2011 tsunami is a way of reaffirming hope and forging a future based on the traditions of the past. Both the location and materials used to build the Asahi nursery school in Minamisanriku in Japan’s prefecture of Miyagi hark back to ancient wisdom and craft skills that are here carried forward to inform the values of tomorrow.
Set on a small hillock, the new building is made entirely of timber. Every piece - from pillars and beams to flooring and frames - comes from giant trees planted some 400 years ago after a tidal wave in 1611 and felled by the destructive force of the last tsunami.
By combining old and new - ancient timber to create contemporary spaces, and ancient building techniques that do not make use of a single metal joint - this new building on a hill takes time-honoured know-how into the future.