Stitches – Blending landscape fabric through the golden threads of spatial identity in San Riku coastline, Otsuchi, Iwate, Japan
Otsuchi and the coastline of Japan is dealing with the issue of a loss of spatial identity in its beautiful and varied Rias coastline, due to tsunami defence mechanisms that have been erected along the coast. 25m high seawalls are the new identity in each village, irrespective of contextual differences between locations along this coastline, including the community, its economy and landscape.
The design and my thesis was a search for alternatives to the wall that has been built.
What emerged from this search was a method of creating a gradient of landscapes rather than a fixed structure, one with a visible ecological flux of systems. Using the sea bathymetry to create a set of dynamic reactions, the design created opportunities for the townspeople of the bay at large and unite it, while also serving its defence purpose. In this way, the land and the sea were stitched together in a way that creates an identity and livelihood for Otsuchi.
Image: Otsuchi Baymouth on a Toramai festival night