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Canada Wood Goes Dutch & Celebrates the Completion of the Oranda Jima House Project in Yamada, Iwate, Japan

Shawn Lawlor

By Shawn Lawlor

Managing Director, Canada Wood Japan

June 8, 2014

Canada Wood Goes Dutch

Photo: Oranda Jima House, Yamada Machi, Iwate, Japan

On May 24th Canada Wood Japan celebrated the opening of the Oranda Jima House, an after-school and community care center in Yamada Machi, Iwate, Japan. The event marked the third project completed under the Canada Tohoku Reconstruction Project. Canada Wood partnered with noted Japan based Dutch architect Martin van der Linden and the Dutch non-profit group the Oranda Jima Foundation to jointly realize this project.

What’s the Dutch Connection?

During our second phase of request for project proposals, Canada Wood was contacted by Dutch architect Martin van der Linden to see if we would be interested in jointly funding a project for children in Yamada Machi, Iwate. This small coastal village is of special significance as the name Oranda Jima or Holland Island is inspired by a small nearby island in Yamada Bay where a Dutch vessel Breskens first landed in 1643. After the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the Oranda Jima Foundation was formed from a group of leading Dutch businesses in Japan to support reconstruction activities in the region. While the initial plans for the Oranda Jima House called for a pre-fabricated steel structure, logistical issues with earlier plans ensued and we were contacted to see if Canada Wood would be willing to donate wood products. After the second call for proposals, the Oranda Jima House was selected for funding as the third Canada Tohoku Reconstruction Project.

The Oranda Jima House, short for Funakoshi After School and Community Centre, was donated to the town as a public facility to serve the children and citizens in Yamada Machi. Located adjacent to the town’s nearby elementary school, the 194 square-meter building’s inspired design encompasses playrooms for children, a sound proof music room wherein children will host a local radio show and practice music, a small interior courtyard, workspace for staff, a Japanese tatami quiet space for rest and psychiatric counselling, a multi-functional room and kitchen as well as a wooden deck and exterior playground. The facility will accommodate 60 children, and the local community will use the house to support in developing the after school activities.

For our contribution, the Canada Wood Group donated all of the structural lumber and panel products as well as the wood finishing materials for this project. The contributions included Canada Tsuga posts, sill plates and Mabashira studs, Douglas Fir Hirakaku beams, SPF roof rafters, OSB structural panels and Western Red Cedar decking, siding and panel products. While the structure is post and beam, the roof assembly features extensive use of SPF dimension lumber underscoring the functionality of P&B and PFC hybrid design. Canada’s contribution represents about 15% of the overall project cost. The balance covered by financial contributions and donations in kind through the Oranda Jima Foundation. Inspired by Martin’s modern design, the Oranda Jima House shines as an example of bringing together aesthetic beauty and functionality in non-residential wooden structures.

We hope that thanks to the project’s robust design and use of quality Canadian wood products, the children of Yamada will be able to safely use this club house for many years to come. “We decided on using wood as from a design point of view it expresses well the image that I wanted to create with the building: a simple, silent structure, designed from the inside out. On the outside the building is clad with Western Red Cedar pattern and colour will only become more beautiful over time,” said Martin van der Linden, the lead architect of the Oranda Jima House.

To view the photo gallery of Oranda Jima House, please click on the following link: http://www.cofi.or.jp/news/カナダー東北復興プロジェクト「オランダ島ハウス」 フォトライブラリー