Scenes of the tsunami-ravaged coastal regions following the massive off-shore earthquake nearly a year ago are still fresh in the minds of Japanese residents, prompting architect Keiichiro Sako to design a structural solution to the inundation of Japan’s low-lying villages.
Called ‘Sky Villages,’ Sako’s vision consists of 20-meter-high concrete towers that would house up to 500 homes, businesses, and the accompanying infrastructure.Sako said, "I wanted to find a way to allow people to go on living and working safely and securely down in the plains; that's why I started the Sky Village project."
Many coastal villages are being abandoned as government officials are mandating new settlements be made in higher-elevation sites along Japan’s inner mountainous region.
Sako added, "How do you live safely in low-lying areas? The only real choice is to build a man-made high ground. Now if you do that, and it's a square building, it will probably get smashed into head-on by a tsunami. So I thought what we should go for is a round structure on concrete foundations."
The circular, raised ‘Sky Village’ townships would protect residents from killer waves while preserving the way of life for many of Japan’s coastal fishing communities. The hollow foundations would take about three years each to build, and last for up to 200 years – providing safety and shelter for generations.