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Reclaiming the Sento

Part 2 Project 2020
Lisa Edwards
University of Kent | UK
‘Reclaiming the Sento’ portends catastrophic climate change in Japan resulting in the displacement of communities from eastern prefectures towards Tokyo City. A new disaster relief centre in a central Tokyo suburb provides temporary refuge for the displaced families. The proposal repurposes an existing apartment building earmarked for demolition combined with a new traditional bathhouse (sento); a typology significant to Japanese culture since the Heian period.

The scheme aims to sustain the social value of the Japanese bathing culture and actively encourage integration between those displaced and their host communities. The bathhouse provides sanctuary, social space & employment opportunity for the displaced community, drawing upon a distinct experiential quality exploring the theory of Phenomenology.

The resultant architecture explores issues of sustainability in combination with craft and cultural values. The sento (bathhouse) is formed around an exploration of water lifecycle, it uses reclaimed components from Tokyo’s abandoned homes (Akiya), bamboo grown in the Tokyo Ward, Japanese jointing techniques, the reuse of existing aggregate in low strength mud-wall technology and explores the application of seismic technology.

Lisa Edwards

Ben Corrie
Yorgos Loizos
Matthew Woodthorpe
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