Home-for-All is a NPO that builds homes and public spaces in the Tohoku region of Japan for those who were affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011. In the weeks following the earthquake, 5 volunteer architects — Toyo Ito, Kazuyo Sejima, Riken Yamamoto, Junichi Kano and Yasuhiro Yamashita calling themselves “Kishin no kai” or “Group of contributors”– led a call for action to young architects to put their heads together and lend a helping hand.
The Home for All initiative began with the intention to empower disaster-affected individuals to get back on their two feet. Each project forms a space for those who wish to proactively start afresh, and seeks to inspire “the spirit of new beginnings”.
From planning to design to construction, each Home for All project starts with a conversation between architects, builders, sponsors, volunteers, and users. This process of creating dialogue promotes understanding and encourages communities to work together towards a common goal.
On the ruins of decimated houses, devastated shopping centers, and ravaged fisherman’s wharves, Home-for-All has erected contemporary residences, children’s playgrounds, community centers, and even an NPO outpost for those in the farming and fishing industries working the reconstruction effort.
According to their website, Home-for-All, “aspires to create a warm, social place where people of the community can escape from their hastily-constructed makeshift homes and come together to find comfort in one another.”
Funding is entirely donation-based, with both domestic and international donors, corporations, individuals, and everything in between — one project was even funded by the Kumamoto Prefecture government.
Materials vary, sites are borrowed from private or public sector manufacturers. To this day 12 Home-for-All community centers have been built in various areas that were affected by the catastrophe, with numerous others in various stages of planning or fabrication.
With world-renowned architects like Toyo Ito and Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein of Klein and Dytham closely involved, the architecture and design for each project is unique and mesmerizing, while also purposeful and functioning.