An unexpected structure has risen from the rubble of which Rikuzentakata, a city situated on coastal Iwate prefecture, was reduced to when the tsunami flattened it. With the help of Hideki Koizumi, a Tokyo University professor of urban engineering, Naruse-Inokuma Architects, Chikako Goto and various other individuals, students and corporate sponsors, Riku Cafe opened in January 2012.
Some may not consider cafes to be high on the priority list of reconstruction efforts following a disaster such as the one witnessed last year in March. I would argue that this is exactly what the people of Rikuzen-Takata need: a space that provides a sense of normality in a very abnormal situation. What a great space to