Muji


Preparing For Our Prefab Future

Publication:
Date: 
October 25, 2017
A burgeoning U.S. prefab market has much to learn from Japan

In the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a massive post-military industrial compound of warehouses converted into creative offices and bespoke manufacturing operations, there is a factory that builds houses. It’s a long, cavernous 100,000-square-foot warehouse with a string of workstations for welding together steel-trussed wall panels, threading them with electrical wiring and plumbing, and finishing them off with drywall and window sashes. Stacks of plywood and steel beams fill large racks next to industrial-sized spools of plastic conduit. It’s a construction site gone linear.

Raze, Rebuild, Repeat: Why Japan Knocks Down its Houses After 30 Years

Publication:
Date: 
November 16, 2017
Unlike in other countries, Japanese homes become valueless over time – but as the population shrinks, can its cities finally learn to slow down and refurb?

In the suburban neighbourhood of Midorigaoka, about an hour by train outside Kobe, Japan, all the houses were built by the same company in the same factory. Steel frames fitted out with panel walls and ceilings, these homes were clustered by the hundreds into what was once a brand new commuter town. But they weren’t built to last.

Photos: Raze, Rebuild, Repeat: Why Japan Knocks Down its Houses After 30 Years

Publication:
Date: 
November 16, 2017
Unlike in other countries, Japanese homes become valueless over time – but as the population shrinks, can its cities finally learn to slow down and refurb?

Mitsuhiro Tokuda in the backyard of a traditional home in Kitakyushu – now converted into a cafe
Mitsuhiro Tokuda, a professor of architecture at the Kyushu Institute of Technology, in the backyard of a traditional home in Kitakyushu – now converted into a cafe.

Models displaying the floorplans of a pre- and post-renovation home built by the housing manufacturer Sekisui House, at their showroom facilities north of Tokyo, Japan.