A New Hub for the Community: A Hybrid Elementary School for Education, Community, and Disaster Prevention

Naruse Ouka Elementary School is the last to be reconstructed after the Great East Japan Earthquake, combining the tsunami-devastated Hamaichi Elementary School and the undamaged Ono Elementary School, with the goal of “creating a disaster-resistant school that transcends generations and coexists with the local community.”

Studio Name: Atelier Hitoshi Abe
Design Team: Atelier Hitoshi Abe + Kume Sekkei
Area: Education(Elementary School)
Year: Completed March 2021
Location: Naruse-Ouka Elementary School,31 Miyamae, Ono,Higashimatsushima-shi, Miyagi, Japan
Consultants: (N/A)
Photography Credits: ©Kawasumi Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office Co.,Ltd
Other Credits: (N/A)
Collaborators: A/SMEP: Kume Sekkei Co., Lt

HEP by Atelier Hitoshi Abe - Sheet6
©Kawasumi Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office Co.,Ltd

The site that is to become the new hub of the Ono Naruse area is a unique location where nature meets the central area containing the town hall and civic center. This elementary school facility, a “community” and “disaster prevention” hub, was designed, constructed, and operated to become a new regional hub that functions as both a school and a community activity center.

HEP by Atelier Hitoshi Abe - Sheet7
©Kawasumi Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office Co.,Ltd

The configuration of the two functions, which are gently adjacent to each other and separated by a diagonal line, allows them to coexist in harmony with each other while enabling the community function to occupy all or part of the building in the future when the number of children attending school declines with the aging population.

HEP by Atelier Hitoshi Abe - Sheet9
©Kawasumi Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office Co.,Ltd

The classroom areas are designed to respect traditional academic spaces while also accommodating creative and informal learning styles through the combination of large corridors and dispersed multipurpose areas. We hope that the completion of this facility, which will transform into a regional disaster prevention center in the event of a disaster, will help restore a sense of peace and security and a focus towards the future to this area, which has been in a transitional period for the ten years following the earthquake.


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