In late 2009 Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects completed Bayside Marina Hotel. Located right off the water in Yokohama bay, the structure of the hotel was made from shipping containers that had been pre-assembled in Thailand. The architects – unaware that their innovation would come in handy in the future, were able to achieve an astonishingly low-cost structure that was both stylish and unique.

Sixteen days after the devastating Sendai earthquake and tsunami displaced thousands, the architects – just 2 days ago – announced that they were pulling out their project from the vault and would begin accepting donations to provide the same type of housing to those whose homes were permanently destroyed. If you would like to help, follow this link where you will find an email address. All inquiries, including volunteering, are welcome. If you would like to donate money you will also find bank account information where you can send a wire transfer to.

According to recent reports, the 3 prefectures affected require roughly 33,000 new homes but, as of March 29th, only 8% of that demand has been met. It’s nice to see that there are some who are able to cut through the radiation paranoia and focus on the more dire situation, which is helping the refugees find shelter for their families.

Much in the same vein as the Shigeru Ban project we wrote about 2 weeks ago, Yasutaka Yoshimura has proposed an ideal solution for refugee housing. The containers are not only cost-effective but they also require minimal construction and are safe and comforting for displaced families.

images of the completed hotel | courtesy Yasutaka Yoshimura
click to enlarge