Disaster-hit town gets Kuma plan

Kyodo

World-renowned architect Kengo Kuma has released his plan to revive the once prosperous Shizugawa district in Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, which was ravaged by the March 2011 tsunami.

The town-sponsored project is aimed at reviving Shizugawa’s old town as an area where residents can gather.

At a meeting Monday to inform residents of his plans, Kuma explained that after raising the ground level of the area, the town will build a commercial complex, “Minamisanriku San San Shopping Mall,” and a fishery processing facility.

The town also plans to establish a commercial and tourism facility along the Hachiman River, and a new market beside the sea.

Kuma said the town will build an embankment next to the sea, along which a walking path will be constructed.

“I’ve tried to hand over the memories this landscape retains and make it easier for residents to move around the town,” he said.

A part of the town’s old district has been designated as an area to lead the reconstruction, which is a center of Kuma’s project.

The town plans to complete raising the area’s ground level by 10 meters within the first half of 2015. Kuma’s reconstruction project is sponsored by the town government, which will shell out about ¥10 million.

An area surrounding the tsunami-ravaged building of the Disaster Prevention Center, where 43 town officials lost their lives, will become a memorial park.