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2012 / Miyagi, Japan

The condition of temporary housing and facilities in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake has been in constant need of improvement, including a number of requests for new public bathing facilities. Instead of bathing privately, many local residents wish to bathe in spacious communal baths, in part to help strengthen the bonds of the community.


The Minamisanriku Veneer House was designed and constructed as the first phase of a public bath project. Using veneer boards made from local forest thinnings, the building was quickly assembled by amateurs. This demonstrates the unique features of the Veneer House construction method, which is simple, fast, cost-effective, and contributes to both the local industrial development and environmental improvement.


The 910x1820mm veneer boards are divided into units of 455mm and are provided with pre-cut notches. The boards are assembled by interlocking these notches and reinforcing the joints with wood battens and screws.


This construction method is easy to build and can also be disassembled and relocated, making it suitable for disaster sites and urgent or temporary building demands. Construction time can be reduced drastically by prefabricating building components.

TEAM: Keio University SFC (Design, Construction), Kobayashi Maki Design Workshop (Design, Construction), Miyagi University Yoshihiro Hiraoka Laboratory (Design, Construction), Akira Suzuki (Structural Engineering), Home Kenzaiten Co., Ltd. (Precut), Local Residents (Construction), and others

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