Phase Change: Waning Fishing Villages on the Northeast Coast of Japan
Fauvre, Ashle Marie
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This thesis investigates the rhythms of a particular place, and creates an architecture based on this analysis. The Tohoku tsunami stripped the shores of northeastern Japan, mixing landscape with artifact everywhere from 0 to 25 feet above sea level. Afterwards, rural depopulation has accelerated, and the lack of successors in heritage industries has become a national issue. Along the coast, however, fishermen returned to work almost immediately after the tsunami. Returning to a rhythm - cleaning up, raising oysters, and sharing food and firelight - functioned as a kind of therapy. This thesis argues that institutions of social capital generate the spatio-temporal rhythms of a place. How can architecture articulate and direct the rhythms that bind a place together? What is the role of architecture where there will be no heroic future? The proposal begins by converting a salinated rice paddy to a field of flowers. The subsequent moves take place upstream and downstream of this field, combining existing and intervening elements along a path from sea to mountain, in juxtaposition to more heavily used routes between sea and road. These elements include a shrine, a bathhouse, a convenience store, a field of flowers, a smokehouse, and a fishing cooperative. The result draws into tension relationships between inside and outside, cycles of short and long duration, and especially relationships between newness and age. From solid footing, the resulting assemblage expands and contracts in time to a variety of rhythms.
- Architecture