This project is the reconstruction of a kindergarten lost in the huge tsunami in 2011. The project is funded by UNICEF. We used massive trees killed by sea water. These trees used to be religious symbols of the local villager. They were planted after tsunami in 1611, which happened exactly 400 years before the tsunami in 2011. These trees and kindergarten were owned by Daiyuji Temple. The main building of the old temple is on the hill. The height is just enough to evade tsunamis in the long history. Many of the villagers survived because the priest of the temple used to teach them to escape to the temple. Every piece of the building of Asahi Kindergarten including structure, floor and handrail, was curved out from these trees. The circumference of some of the trees exceeded 5m. No metal joint was used. We used traditional joinery and wedges, because we know these old techniques has been making Japanese traditional architecture to survive more than 1300 years.
The massive column with sectional dimension of 600mm x 600mm are the message to the children who are going to live after 400 years, to tell "these trees were killed by tsunami, and you have to run up to the building when a big earthquake comes." We can't stop tsunami coming, but we can leave a message with the building. The building is not shaped inventively. It is about the message to reach 400 years in future. If you are there, you will feel the power of 400 years old trees, and you will understand the message immediately.
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