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koreisha

architectural research project Caro van Dijk Architectuur


Koreisha - architectural research project on elderly care and housing in Japan Magazine June 2013 Authors: Caro van Dijk Caro van Dijk Architectuur mail mail@carovandijk.nl web www.carovandijk.nl © 2013, Caro van Dijk Architectuur, Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. See conditions: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/legalcode

About Caro van Dijk Architectuur Caro van Dijk Architectuur develops intuitive design and new typologies, and creates events around architecture and other disciplines. Care, sustainability and responsive spaces have our special attention. Caro van Dijk MSc graduated in 2005 at the Architecture department of the TU Delft. Having worked at several leading offices in Amsterdam, today she has a broad experience in all phases of the building process. In 2012 she founded her own practice Caro van Dijk Architectuur, where she works as an independent architect and researcher on various projects. Her focus today is set at developing intuitive architecture and caring, sustainable environments. Besides her work as an architect, Caro is a design teacher at the department ‘Interiors Buildings and Cities’ at the faculty of Architecture TU Delft, and a frequent lecturer for various institutions. She initiated several events to share and generate knowledge in her field, such as interdisciplinary design platforms Design Age and Smart in Public, and various workshops. In combining theory and practice, both benefit from the other. www.carovandijk.nl


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

INDEX

page 01

research project and objectives

page 03

typology three generation house

page 05

the traditional japanese house

page 07

house in sakuragawa - suppose design office

page 09

typology nursing homes

page 11

idu terrace house and kenyuen home for the elderly - muramatsu architects

page 13

typology the neighbourhood daycare center

page 15

mutsukawa daycare center yokohama - sanaa

page 17

typology collective living

page 19

manazuru forest house - moriko kira

page 23

communal area model - riken yamamoto & field shop

page 27

typology other; a house awaiting death - eastern design office

page 31

typology other: reversible destiny lofts, arakawa & gins

page 33

interviews and articles

page 49

conclusions and ideas

page 51

list of partners and people

page 52

list of literature

map of projects


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Research project Koreisha means to study current developments in elderly care and housing architecture in Japan, against the social and economical background of the ageing japanese society. Japan has already a larger part of population older than 65, and its population has aged also faster than in Europe. Therefore Japan is ahead of us in this process and might offer us a view into our own future. It is then interesting to see that Japan has an entirely different care system than in the Netherlands. Since the 1960s in the Netherlands the government has designed a highly institutionalised and intensive elderly care program, as part of the welfare state, that offered longterm care for all. Now the Netherlands spends the biggest amount of government money on longterm care of all european countries. In today’s demographical and economical situation this system has become impossible to maintain, but it is yet unknown what its alternatives will have to be. Japan never had such an extensive government program, as elderly care in Japan is traditionally family based. Over the years this has partly been replaced by other forms. Today, elderly care in Japan is today an interesting patchwork of government programs, commercial facilities, family care and neighbourhood initiatives. For the Netherlands this is interesting to find out what elderly care could be beyond the welfare state. For architects it is interesting to see what typologies and architectural ideas come from this big variety of situations. Typologies Traditional family based elderly care in Japan makes way for other forms of elderly care and housing. We have found a number of relevant typologies that we would like to study in the start up phase of our research. These are: – the traditional japanese house where grandparents, parents and children lived together, and today’s modern versions – The large scale nursing home, a common typology for us but in Japan still an exception. – The small scale group home, as a nursing home – The small scale group home where elderly people live independently – Neighbourhood care facilities in housing areas, such as daycare centres and community facilities – Collective housing typologies that could offer a possibility for informal elderly care among neighbours


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

RESEARCH PLAN AND PHASES

Research plan and phases: Phase 1 – startup (January – June 2013) in the startup phase, we first analyse the cultural, economical and social background in relation with elderly people in Japan, in order to able to put the projects in the right perspective and compare them with the situation in the Netherlands. After that we will analyse and compare a number of relevant typologies. Important issues will be the internal organisation, privacy, the use of the collective realm, the interaction of people, etc. We will also look into who develops these typologies and to what groups or institutions they are related, what role they play in the community, what kind of location is chosen and how does the building respond to it, etc. We also would like to involve japanese architects who have developed an interesting project or theory related to elderly care. In this phase of the research we will apply for a written interview per email. We will also interview some architects and writers that work in the Netherlands who have a specific relationship with Japan. We will publish the results of this first startup phase on a website and a digital online magazine. We will include the analysis of the projects in drawings and schemes, and we will publish articles based on our literature research and interviews. Also we will use this startup phase to make a final plan for the next steps in our project. Next Phases (December 2013 – ..) The final plan for the next steps will be made after the startup phase, but we already have an outline of what we would like to do. The idea is to visit Japan ourselves for the next steps in our research, to visit some projects and meet some of the architects. The results of this journey will also be documented on the project website. After that we will organise a dutchjapanese exchange on care architecture. We would like to invite a number of dutch architects to respond to the research and the japanese typologies that have been analysed, in order to apply in a design proposal the most relevant ideas and principles to the dutch context. The japanese architects involved will in turn be asked to respond to the dutch situation. The results from the exchange project will be shown in an exhibition, both physical and online, together with the results from the research. We also hope to be able to open the exhibition with a conference for which both the japanese and dutch parties will be invited, as well as dutch policy makers and care professionals.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

TYPOLOGY: THE THREE GENERATION HOUSE

Many young Japanese adults choose to live with their parents, rather than seeking a separate residence, a phenomenon known as ‘parasite singles’. A 1998 survey by the Ministry of Health and Welfare indicated that about 60% of single Japanese men and 80% of single women between the ages of 20 and 34 lived with their parents. This derives from tradition, but is also a financial consequence of steep rents. But also after marriage, the young couple often lives in the same house as their parents, for traditional but also financial reasons. A desire for some separation between the generations has led to the phenomenon of nisedai jūtaku, literally “two generation housing”, a single house which contains two complete separate living areas, one for the parents and one for the younger generation. In Japan it is a popular typology, because it offers economical and practical benefits, as well as a lifestyle corresponding with traditional social values but with a contemporary amount of privacy. Despite the decrease of three-generation households, for the japanese prefab housing industry the demographic situation is a stimulus and the three-generation house a lucrative market. In 1996 31% of all households in Japan included one or more people of 65 and older, and this percentage is only growing. To promote their product the industry even sends representatives to interview families that are thinking about moving in together, in order to customise the house according to their wishes. These representatives even stay involved with the family until at least a year after the family has moved in the three-generation house. However, since the end of World War II the nuclear family has been steadily replacing the traditional Japanese extended family that often had three or even four generations living under one roof. The number of three-generation households decreased from 56 percent in 1972 to 29,7 percent in 1999. Elderly people that do not live with their children, that live ‘alone’, are still seen as lonely or to be pitied for not living the common image of a good elderly life. But some elderly people don’t want to live with their children. They are much to attached to their freedom and privacy, as are their children. The last 20 years the percentage of elderly people that live with their children has decreased significantly, by a combination of social and economical factors. Most elderly people that do live with their children are very frail and need a lot of care, and/or have lost their partner. In a questionnaire issued with high school children, only 15,7% indicated that they would be willing to take upon them the care for their parents when they are old. Besides the prefab housing industry producing nisedai jūtaku as rather similar semi-traditional detached houses, there are also a number of contemporary designs to be found where three generations live under one roof in a very urban setting, of which both the House in Sakuragawa and the Moriyama House are examples. They offer a few ideas on contemporary living with contemporary amounts of privacy between relatives, but still living together in one houses – or rather two houses connected.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

In the Netherlands we had a similar popular typology in the ‘kangoeroewoning’ or ‘tandemwoning’ in the 1970s, but this typology seemed to have been forgotten soon and is only now being rediscovered again. With the development of the welfare state, it was so well promoted that elderly people would live in elderly homes, that we are since a few generations quite used to this idea. Growing up with one’s grandparents in one house is very unusual, although research has proven this to be beneficial for children. Placing elderly people outside of society also means that this society is unfamiliar with ageing and death because they never live close to it. A closer contact between the elderly and younger generations might therefore offer a better perspective on our own lives as well. However, despite the renewed interest in ‘kangoeroewoningen’ and care within the family also in the Netherlands, it will be a complicated paradigm shift for people to re-adopt living together with one’s parents, nor will it be so easily done to place elderly care back into the family realm without any further support.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

TYPOLOGY: THREE GENERATION HOUSE THE TRADITIONAL JAPANESE HOUSE

The traditional japanese house is known in various typologies: a free standing house sometimes with a courtyard or garden, or a row house in urban areas. The traditional japanese house had no designated living or sleeping rooms. The only designated rooms are the genkan (the entrance hall), the kitchen, the toilet and the bathroom, often built as separate volumes attached to the main house. The detached house typology is built in one or two stories, with wooden floors slightly raised above the ground. In the genkan, people remove their shoes while stepping up onto the raised floor level, and placing their shoes with the noses outwards. The house is constructed in wood with a pitched roof covered with tiles or thatched. The roof also covers the roka, a wooden walkway that surrounds the whole (detached) house like a porch. The roka can also be closed with wooden sliding panels, but the actual ‘facade’ is placed inward, consisting of sliding doors called shoji, made of a wooden frame filled with thin paper that allows daylight to pass through. Inside, the ima or living space can be divided by fusuma, sliding doors also made of wood and paper that can create separate rooms. In the ima the wooden floor is covered with tatami mats that come in standard sizes – on of the first modular building systems perhaps is the japanese house. Furniture is movable and is stored in a big cupboard called oshiire, for example the futons used as beds that are stored away during the day. The bathroom or sento is always separated from the toilet and is used in a more than functional way: japanese families often bathe together and the bath is a place to socialise, relax and rest the body. Before entering the bath tub the body must therefore be clean already, so first people wash and clean themselves thoroughly in the space next to the bath tub, before entering the bath itself.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

In a traditional japanese house, a whole family consisting of three or even four generations would live together in one space. Today it is even still quite common for young adults to stay living with their parents especially before marriage, whereas living with ‘strangers’ or friends is still rare. Visitors are usually received in a guest room with tokonoma, or else in the living room, but they do not enter any of the other rooms. Several example of large country houses even show a separate entrance for special guests besides the normal entrance; the guest entrance goes directly into the house connecting with the guest quarters and receiving rooms, whereas the normal entrance provides access to the courtyard. The courtyard offers access to the house on one side, and on the other borders on the kitchen, the stables and rooms for servants. The traditional japanese houses, row house or detached, all have in common a great attention and sensitivity to privacy expressed in many layers and in-between zones that mark the transfer from public to private in many ways. The access to the house from the street is always divided in several steps: a small zone of semi-private pavement, a fence or other area in front of the door, the first door, the genkan, the raised floor level, the second door and only then the actual entrance to the house. The facades are very closed and formal towards the street, opening up only to the private courtyard or garden; the house is very much turned inward. Inside there is some division between ‘formal’ rooms for guests, and ‘informal’ rooms for the private life of the family. Between outdoor and indoor space, there is the in-between of the porch or roka and its double layer of sliding panels. In one traditional house in Kyoto, the wooden floors of the roka were purposely made so that they would creek and squeak so that they would announce another person’s footsteps, the so-called ‘nightingale floors’. All these elements show an articulate mise-en-scene of interaction between people, in a culture that is quite attached to formal manners and avoiding possible embarrassment. All the layers and in-betweens give people the possibility to anticipate to an encounter or avoiding it if they wish. These ‘opportunities of shyness’ seem to us perhaps overly careful, but in fact they are a key factor in designing for comfort and feeling at home. Especially people in a vulnerable state, like frail elderly people or people placed in a nursing home, need this sensitivity in order to feel safe. Paradoxically, the more attention is paid to the design of privacy, the more comfortable people will feel to engage in social interaction.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

TYPOLOGY: THREE GENERATION HOUSE HOUSE IN SAKURAGAWA - SUPPOSE DESIGN OFFICE

The House in Sakuragawa was designed for a grandmother, two parents, a child and a dog, on a plot of 50 square meters – one of Tokyo’s exemplary small plots. Still the architects managed to give the house a big and spacious feeling. The plot is situated opposite of a park, and the big panorama window on the first floor open up towards it to offer a wide view of the trees, as of the house was set in a huge garden itself. This is the only opening in the facade towards the street, all other floors open up towards the top or the back: the first floor is the shared living room where the family comes together. The ground floor is set back to make way for a parking space and a sheltered entrance. The interior house is a spacious set of split levels with wooden floors and white steel staircases and balustrades, making the most of the limited footprint and connecting the floors with each other through voids and open staircases. Through these a lot of daylight comes into the house from the roof terrace in the back. Even the wind is allowed in for natural ventilation, from the big panorama window playfully moving up through the roof terrace. The family is living together in a somewhat traditional way with three generations together, but in a contemporary design. The grandmother has her room on the ground floor next to the entrance, that is not directly connected with the other floors through voids. There are small bedrooms for the child and perhaps a guest on the split level on the second floor, and the parents have the big bedroom on the third floor, connected with the roof terrace. These bedrooms and living rooms are all open and connected with each other. The first floor connects all family members with each other in the living room and kitchen. They also share the bathroom on the ground floor. The small plot and open interior does not allow for a great amount of privacy, but the architects claim they “have created a home in which people’s lives can be enriched by interacting with one another.”


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

TYPOLOGY: THE NURSING HOME

Like in the Netherlands there are several typologies for care residencies for elderly people in Japan. Within the home-care program however is included the possibility for all care level indications to visit a daycare centre or a short-term stay at a facility. Welfare facilities for elderly persons needing special care include day service centers [including short stay facilities], nursing homes for the elderly (kaigo rojin hoken shisetsu), special nursing homes for the elderly (tokubetsu yogo rojin homu), and group homes for elderly with dementia (chihosei koreisha gurupu homu). Other than in the Netherlands, these are not standard facilities but rather exceptions to the usual care at home within the family. Staying in a facility is often presented as a temporary solution for recovery after which elderly people move back home, but this cannot always be the case. Residents of nursing homes are still regarded as pitiful for not living ‘the ideal elderly life’ with their family. In the Netherlands the nursing home is omnipresent, deriving from the hospital in both building typology and type of organisation. There were until recently very strict rules for building and financing a nursing home: the exact measurements of m2 for rooms, corridors and facilities was pre-scripted along with a standard budget from the government. This has of course resulted in exactly similar buildings everywhere according to the very minimal standards for space and daylight – based on efficiency instead of quality. This uniformal mass care was for some decades the standard in care and housing for elderly people, but has gained a bad reputation for its threadbare inability to meet individual needs, and despite numerous budget cuts still proves to be unaffordable. Its hegemony is therefore decreasing in favour of small-scale alternatives, private homes for those who can afford it, and care at home. As the population ages, paradoxically more and more nursing homes (or more precisely residential homes) become vacant and care organisations are looking for a new destination for their real estate. In Japan the nursing home is only one of the possibilities for the elderly, and it is certainly not the default housing typology for the masses, for it is quite expensive for residents to live there: the insurance covers 90% and people pay 10% themselves, plus in short-stay facilities the costs for meals and overnight stay. People with a low income would therefore rather stay at home and instead end up in the regular hospital when having acute problems. When looking at the nursing homes that have been designed by Muramatsu Architects, we imagine a larger building budget than usually is available in the Netherlands for a nursing home. Rooms and corridors are generous in their dimensions, layouts and routes are spacious instead of just efficient, and the architecture is, regarding volume and facade surface, not just based on the smallest budget. The Idu Terrace Home is situated in a sub-urban area, without seeking any particular connection to the neighbourhood: it’s a stand-alone block on its own large parking lot, and the brick facades are closed and protective. All rooms are turned inward to the large garden inside the block, only the communal living rooms sometimes get a glimpse outside. The Kenyuen Home on the other hand is situated very differently, in a natural area on the ocean shores, and while being sheltered from the road opens up entirely towards to sea. Both homes betray a presupposition that elderly care is a very delicate process that should be protected from outside influences. In the architect’s texts about the buildings he especially focusses on their contemplative and peaceful nature for the residents: healing environments to restore their inhabitants’ peace with the world.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

This idea of an isolated nursing environment for the elderly is entirely the opposite of the ideas expressed by Moriko Kira during our conversation, and in the research for communal living by Riken Yamamoto. They both think designated ‘elderly areas’ are at best not very future-proof, and at worst provoking social problems by placing elderly people outside society. Elderly care that is integrated in daily life is beneficial for the elderly who can claim a role in their community and keep some of their sense of autonomy, for others in the community should not be separated from old age, and for the community that should be resilient enough to include all people in order to be ‘complete’. Frei Otto has in his theories already tried to prove that the distributed network, consisting of equal particles, would be the most efficient form in terms of energy and economy, more so than the centralised or decentralised networks that are often promoted when policy makers talk about efficiency. The distributed network is also the most flexible and resilient type. Riken Yamamoto’s ideas for the community are also based on a socially and economically distributed network. As the centralised network has already proved itself insufficient in elderly care, I am inclined to try the other direction.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

TYPOLOGY: NURSING HOME IDU TERRACE HOME AND KENYUEN HOME FOR THE ELDERLY, MURAMATSU ARCHITECTS

The nursing homes in Japan are in their architectural typology largely similar to the ones that can be found in Europe and the Netherlands. They are rather independent buildings, not particularly connected to the street or the neighbourhood. The building typology is derived from the modern hospital: a standardised room size with one bed per room, corridors and communal living and dining rooms. Muramatsu Architects from Tokyo have realised a few large scale nursing homes and hospitals like this, of which two are analysed below. The Kenyuen Home in Wakayama is a stand-alone building on the seaside, overlooking the ocean in a remote area. It is on one side connected to the street with a parking lot, and on the other it borders on the rocks of the shore. The Idu Terrace House is set in a much more urban context, but manifests itself equally independent: its rooms are directed towards the inner enclosed garden. The building is on all sides surrounded by its own parking lot. Of a slightly different nature is the group home in Noboribetsu by Sou Fujimoto. First of all it is much smaller: the complex consists of two small group homes of 9 people each and only one storey high. It is set in a residential neighbourhood, and resembles therefore more the typology of the daycare center, but in this case the patients’ residence there is for the long term.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

TYPOLOGY: THE NEIGHBOURHOOD DAYCARE CENTER

In Japan a permanent residence in a facility for elderly people is not the standard; family care with temporary intervals at daycare centers and short stay facilities is more common. The insurance covers only 90% of the expenses – the other 10% is paid for by the care-recipient, as well as 100% of the costs of any additional services that surpass the maximum budget. Also costs for meals and overnight stay at daycare centres and short-stay facilities have to be paid by the family themselves. The use of short-stay facilities is also limited to a maximum of nights per year, regardless of the budget. From the 1990s on the revised Golden Plan has focused on daycare centers as an important facility to support family caregivers. Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop have built two daycare centers in 1996 in this first period, and several more have been built since in all shapes and sizes, and with different constellations of professionals and volunteers from the neighbourhood. Professor Ohara of the University of Yokohama has written an article on the ‘takuroujo’, neighbourhood daycare centers often located in refurbished regular houses, closely connected to the community (article can be found here). The Yamamoto Clinic was designed to offer a home-like place to the elderly with dementia who come there. Riken Yamamoto says about this project: ‘Questions of regional society, local community and family, which have been considered up to then only in the abstract, suddenly become very real, immediate issues when one has any sort of dealings with such a facility. One comes to realize one’s ignorance about where responsibility for such elderly persons ultimately rests.’ Yamamoto is very aware of the difficult task that caregiving relatives bear, and the relief that a daycare center can offer. His choice was to design a semi-open building, to offer protection for the vulnerable group within, but not to make them invisible to the outside world: the wooden screen that covers the long facade still maintains a certain awareness of each other. In its semi-transparency and long volume it is a bit similar to the Mutsukawa Daycare center by SANAA in Yokohama built in 2000. The Shimoizumi Daycare Center by Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop is a much more open facility, combined with a community center where all kinds of neighbourhood activities take place for children, mothers, elderly etc. It has also a different target group: it focusses on elderly people with disabilities or recuperating after surgery. The daycare center and the community center are built one both sides of a communal vegetable garden, connected through this garden and by bridges on the first floor. People engaged in different activities can see each other and can easily seek contact, so that the daycare center benefits from the community activities as well.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

A special kind of daycare center is the Takuroujo, meaning literally: ‘homelike place for the elderly’ These are small-scale multifunctional welfare facilities, that offer some or all of the following services within the community: daycare service, short-stay facilities, delivery nursing, child care and group living. They unite several satellite care facilities that are fragmented into the local community area, managed by and given from traditional institutions such as nursing homes or hospitals. Since the revision of elderly care policy and insurance of 2006, the ‘takuroujo’ also receive subsidies and support from the government. In professor Ohara’s research the ‘takuroujo’ are subdivided in three organisational types: the single house, the multiple house and the satellite. The single house is providing services from a large converted single family house. The multiple house has several of these houses at their disposal. The satellite type is part of a larger care institute such as a nursing home or a hospital, that has several care locations distributed in the neighbourhoods. (source: “New Trials of the Elderly living in Japan – community based care facilities” 2006 paper by professor dr. eng. Ohara of the department of Architecture, Yokohama National University.) The most striking difference between these ‘takuroujo’ and the care facilities that we are familiar with in the Netherlands, is their homely character. In the Netherlands, elderly care facilities derive from hospitals and are also in their architecture and organisation still more similar to hospitals than to housing, even when their main purpose is to provide a home for elderly people. The ‘takuroujo’ is located in a regular house ‘in the middle of the street’, therefore merging spatially entirely into a housing environment and providing a familiarity that can actually make quite a difference.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

TYPOLOGY: DAYCARE CENTER MUTSUKAWA DAYCARE CENTER - SANAA

Mutsukawa Daycare Center for the Elders – Mutsukawa, Minami-ku Yokohama-shi, 2000 The Mutsukawa Daycare Center is located in Yokohama, a dense urban area, but the settings for the daycare center are a relatively open and quiet housing area. Mostly detached single family houses and winding streets cover the terraced hills of this part of town. We imagine that the daycare center also draws on this relatively small-scale neighbourhood by attracting volunteers and offering a familiar atmosphere. The daycare center is built on a very long and narrow plot of land, in the front rising over the narrow street that provides its access, in the back bordering on the next higher terrace. The property is therefore already rather discrete in its situation, with almost no direct views of the facades. In the front, on the street side, is the parking space and the entrance. In the back, the plot offers just enough space for a narrow garden. For a daycare center, or any other medical facility, the question is always if it should be perceived as a public or a private facility. On one hand people gather here to meet each other, but on the other the nature of this meeting also requires a certain discretion and delicacy, because the people involved are in a vulnerable situation. Especially if mental problems are to be expected, for instance in treating people with dementia, a protective environment is necessary. The Mutsukawa Daycare Center is incorporating both. Its public nature can be found in the building's layout: it is not falsely imitating a home, but it offers clear open spaces for various use, that neutrally invite people to meet and connect. The interior spaces are crisp and to the point, with large floor-to-ceiling windows for maximum daylight and views, and repetitive patterns in lighting and structural elements. The asymmetrical structure with T beams seems to have been introduced in order to get rid of heavy structural elements in the facade area, adding to its lightness and transparency and connection with the adjacent outdoor spaces. Its privateness is found in its facades. At first the building seems overall transparent, but on closer examination the moirÊ effect of the layered prints on the glass form a veil that blocks all possible views of the interior from the outside. The transparency of the building can only be experienced from the inside, and anyone inside is protected from being looked at. The uniform, blank appearance of the building contrasts strongly with other elderly daycare facilities that often draw on a homely and nostalgic character, on order to make a connection with its visitors. The strictly abstract design of the Mutsukawa daycare center seems to place this connection in a different level, beyond the obvious ideas on what elderly people 'like'. We agree with the avoidance of the too literal reference or a false claim to nostalgia, and we think we recognise this notion of the benefit of the abstract in the public works of SANAA, that often propose a public space that is as little designated as possible, offering any visitor the freedom to find their own way of connecting with the space.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

TYPOLOGY: COLLECTIVE LIVING

In Japan, sharing a house with other people that are not your relatives is not as common as it is in Europe. However, collective housing and communal living are now becoming more and more popular with young urban people, with various new shared housing initiatives in Tokyo (for example ReBITA, www.share-place.com/en/). Young professionals see the advantage of sharing a bigger house with other people, a private room for yourself and a shared kitchen, living space and bathroom. In housing for elderly people, the group home is not a very common typology yet. In the Netherlands a communal housing project is becoming more popular with elderly people: they start their own project with a group of kindred spirits or friends, a so-called CPO project or ‘collective private initiative’. A number of these CPO projects are now coming from groups of ‘young elderly people’ that are anticipating old age and having people around you to rely on. In short, there seems to be a promise in communal living for a new way of living and caring, but in Japan as well as in the Netherlands this has not yet fully come to development.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

Moriko Kira has done several of these projects with families in the Netherlands and one strictly for elderly ladies in Japan. In my conversation with her we have discussed the benefits and limitations of such a project. For example, Kira does not think a separate residence only for elderly people is a very sustainable concept: from her experience she pleads for a more integrated community with diversity and resilience, connected with urban life. She also refers to Riken Yamamoto’s research on collective living that proposes such a community for the city. For this research we have studied three projects that each deal with communal living in their own way: two built projects and one research project. The first two both draw on exceptional clients. Manazuru Forest House was built for a group of progressive non-conformist elderly ladies, that had a beautiful site at their disposal and wanted to age here together. The architect Moriko Kira had objected to the plan at first, arguing it would not be a sustainable concept to build a house only for this group of elderly friends in such a remote area – they had no plan or scenario for what would happen to their group in the future. The beautiful group home has served its inhabitants well, but now rooms become and the house is waiting for a new destination – there was no idea for its continuity. However, the design and typology are still very interesting: the private rooms and shared living rooms together form a pleasant cross-breed of a big family house and an apartment building. Kira is convinced however that the typology will not yet become very popular with other elderly people in Japan, as they are not used to this way of life. Moriyama House is a concept coming from the architect Ryue Nishizawa: Mr Moriyama came to him with a very different idea for his future house, but was convinced by Nishizawa’s proposal. Moriyama House consists of six independent houses divided over ten blocks. The gardens and ‘roji’ in between are shared. Mr. Moriyama can choose whether he wants to inhabit just one or all of his houses, but he has now decided to rent out several and Nishizawa has even assisted him in finding good candidates. Mr. Moriyama has invited other people onto his site to live with him and his mother, and has created a small community of people living ‘together-apart’, close but not too close on his grounds. The blocks also offer possibilities for other functions such as a small shop, studio or office. As Moriyama house is situated in an area of Tokyo that is just right for such a small-scale community, the House will probably be well able to re-invent itself again and again. The embedding of the communal house within a larger neighbourhood fabric is an important aspect of the sustainability of communal living. Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop have been examining communal living from the start of their office and have a wide range of housing designs to rely on. They have now proposed a radically new idea for housing communities in the urban and suburban realm, claiming that the urban system as we know it, with its mono-functional mass-housing based on the nuclear family, is no longer feasible and even an obstacle in solving social problems. In their concept for the Community Area Model they open up the traditional family house in a multi-colour patchwork of private, semi-private and communal spaces that is able to contain various lifestyles and households as well as many different functions in addition to the housing community such as daycare, classrooms, workshops, offices, places to eat together and meet each other. In this idea for communal living the divisions between public and private, work and home, economically productive and consumptive, strong and vulnerable, all dissolve in a more natural symbiosis. The community is resilient and sustainable because of its diversity and manifold relations, and it is easy to imagine that child care or elderly care can be easily adopted within.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

TYPOLOGY: COLLECTIVE LIVING MANAZURU FOREST HOUSE - MORIKO KIRA

“Manazuru Forest House is not only about architecture in a beautiful natural setting. It’s about individuals who seek for own independent elderly lives and dare to take tries and errors in search of an appropriate organization and network in order to realize and manage their vision. From a more larger social perspective, it is about the proposition towards, on one hand, rapidly graying society, and on the other hand, growing wishes of people to take control on their own lives until the very last moment. From a planological point of view, it is about the transformation of the state controlled rigid system of development and care towards the mix of the reactive, flexible and compact state system and the initiative and investment of individuals. This is the reason why I felt it would fall short to describe only the story of architecture of Manazuru Forest House. By writing an overall story of this project, I thought, it would illustrate the typical conditions and dilemmas of the elderly lives of developed societies and it would suggest not only an architectural possibility but also methods how one could organize such initiatives in sustainable manner. Manazuru Forest House project had greatly inspired and encouraged me as architect active in Europe. How architectural project can deal with individual initiatives and how to place such initiatives and wishes for communal form of living in existing social system in a propoer manner has become the central theme of my office. Housing projects in Amsterdam and Groningen are certainly driven from this background. I hope that the story of Manazuru Forest House and the architecture will give some inspirations and ideas to those who share the vision of the initiatives of citizens and the communal form of living.” (text by Moriko Kira Architects)


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

The project This project was initiated by Moriko Kira’s grandmother and a group of her close friends, who wanted to live together as they got older. This group of women had always had a non traditional liberated lifestyle, with a lot of activity in politics and culture. They were used to creating their own lives and therefore easily adopted collective living, which is otherwise still very unusual in Japan especially for the older generations. The other inhabitants rent their apartments from the grandmother’s family. Kira tells me she had initially discouraged the women to disembark on this adventure, thinking it an unwise, unsustainable investment. But the group insisted, so she agreed to take the commission in the end. Her prediction has nonetheless come true: despite the beauty of the site and the building, the group has not been able to refill empty rooms, so now the building has a vacancy to deal with that is not easy to overcome. There was no idea for continuity in this initiative, the client had not thought about what would happen after their lifetime. The property and the building budget came from the grandmother’s family, the piece of land had been in the family for a long time. The site is a beautiful natural landscape with a steep slope and lots of trees. Manazuru is a small fisherman’s village that began to attract city people because of its beautiful coast. The city people, often high educated and well situated, went to live on the slopes of the hills overlooking the sea, whereas the fishermen lived in the lower bay by the sea. These two groups regarded each other with some distrust, but the group of elderly ladies that lives in the group home have quite good relationship with their neighbours. The village is where they do their grocery shopping but they also obtain the necessary care and assistance from the village. Since there is no professional care organization involved in the housing project, the women organise this themselves. The Forest House has 10 private rooms with a kitchen and small shower bathroom, and a shared living room and kitchen, tatami room and large japanese bathroom. Relatives or friends who want to stay over can stay in an extra room or use the guest house on the property.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

The architecture The Forest House could be seen as a hybrid housing typology: on one hand it is one big family house, on the other it is an apartment building with 10 apartments. For example the ‘genkan’ where you take off your shoes is only at the front door of the house, so you are ‘at home’ in the whole building. But the corridors and the communal spaces are shared with the others, so not entirely private. In the design for the house many small design decisions together form a layered sequence of privacy and living together. For example, the corridors leading to the private rooms are extra wide, to they offer a bit of ‘territory’ in front of the doors of the private rooms, an extra moment in-between. The doors to the private rooms are sliding doors, applied often for wheelchair accessibility in Japan. Sliding doors also offer more possibilities that simply ‘open’ or ‘closed’: they can be left half open or a little bit open as well, without attracting attention in the wrong manner. People need these kind of little things to be able to engage in social interaction in a comfortable way. This is extra important in housing situations where people share spaces with others, even of they are friends. The building is situated on the part of the plot that was most flat, and still close enough to the road for the contractor to be able to bring building components to the right spot. The main building is therefore set in the middle of the trees, and opens up towards the hilly forest around it with a porch and large windows. On the other side the facade is much more closed; here a bridge leads to the road, a long winding path of slopes that offer wheelchair accessibility, but also creates an extended moment from entering the property to entering the house itself. This slow experience probably adds to the building’s remoteness. The client wanted to live in a natural environment in a sustainable lifestyle. Heating is generated by solar energy. The materials applied are mainly wood, also for the construction that nevertheless had to be clad because of fire regulations. Also, one of the inhabitants had an allergy to chemical components, so a lot has been done to avoid these and using only natural materials instead. The wooden interior catches a lot of filtered daylight and responds beautifully to the trees and surrounding landscape.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

TYPOLOGY: COLLECTIVE LIVING COMMUNAL AREA MODEL - RIKEN YAMAMOTO & FIELD SHOP

The Community Area Model is a research project by Riken Yamamoto and Fieldshop for a more resilient housing community. It is not a typology that focusses not just on the ageing society and elderly people specifically, but it proposes a general rethinking of living communities in the city and in the suburb. As it nevertheless contains several ideas for the ageing society and the place of elderly people within the community, we were very interested to include this project in our research. Riken Yamamoto and Fieldshop have sent us the images of the concept and the article displayed below, explaining why a paradigm shift in housing is wanted immediately. Riken Yamamoto has already published several articles and ideas about collective living and the housing community, and has been working on this subject steadily from an early moment in his career onward. For example the designs for the Hotakubo Housing and the Inter-Junction City already show many of the ideas in the Community Area Model already. Also the Shinonome Canal Court housing projects try to deal with functional flexibility and communal spaces between private homes. The basis of his research is his conviction that the nuclear family, the entity on which all housing projects are based, is no longer the right unit of measurement. He pleads for a housing environment that celebrates diversity, in lifestyles and household composition, but also functionally: all kinds of small-scale functions are integrated within the living area such as shops, restaurants, offices, daycare, communal living rooms etc. All are stacked on top of each other offering also a wide variety of enclosed and open spaces and flexibility in use. The lives of people will be more turned outward, not just as part of a nuclear family but of a bigger community. Elderly people but also children can play a natural role in this environment, being supported by a wider network of sharing, microeconomics and ‘new neighbouring’. See also page 42: “Limitations of the ‘One House = One Family’ System”, article by Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

TYPOLOGY: OTHER HOUSE AWAITING DEATH - EASTERN DESIGN OFFICE

“A house awaiting death,” the client said to us. “I will die in 15 years. It will be a house awaiting that death. The building is fine as long as it lasts 15 years. Something small would be good.” “I have found the place.” A patch of land on a peninsula facing East. “I’m glad the land faces East. I hate the sunset.” “When I die it won’t be sunset, it will be sunrise. When the final moment comes, I will face the sea and depart on a ship flashing towards death. It’ll be a time revealed after death.” This is what the client ordered for his house. A view of the magnificent sea in the east where the sun rises. This is the land he chose to live out his final years. (Images and Text quotation courtesy of Eastern Design Office) The client that came to Eastern Design Office with this question was a single man, who was very consciously choosing his own final house and the setting for his death. Although he expected to live up to 15 years more, this house would be his final one and therefore the place where he would die. It is a rare phenomenon that people not only are so aware of their own life’s end, but also willing to acknowledge it and, instead of living in denial, actively start organising and designing the final phase of their lives. Talking about one’s death is often quite a taboo even among intimate relations, in Japan, but also in the Netherlands (a country otherwise known for its general frankness). In our modern ideas of the formability of life as our own creation, death is apparently still too overwhelming an idea to face it in conversation. Yet if you think about it, why would people that have always taken their own decisions in life not wish to do so as well for the end of it? In this light it seems only natural that the client for this house came to Eastern Design Office with such a question. The client chose his site on the east shore of the pacific ocean, on the Ise Peninsula. The surroundings are rather remote and natural, suggesting the client’s wish to retire in piece and quiet. Between the plot and the sea there still is quite a distance of 150m, with a road, a golf course and a sea barrier wall. The living space had therefore to be lifted 8,6m above the sea level to be able to see the waves from a sitting or reclined position. The client even indicated his wish to be able to hear the waves crash on the shore. The site is one for contemplation and solitude, and the client would live there by himself, only occasionally inviting friends to his house.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

The view over the ocean and its alteration during the day and the seasons being the most important feature of the house, everything in the design of it is done to support that. Instead of just simply proposing a large window facing the sea, Eastern Design Office has cut the sight in different pieces in various shapes of windows, framing and layering the view in order to increase its impact. The shapes of the windows and openings in the interior walls are designed according to the use of the rooms and posture of the user (standing, sitting, lying down) so that the sea is still visible in every room with every activity. In the morning the sun catches the different shapes in windows with its light spread throughout the whole interior, whereas during the day the layering of the view is emphasized by the different openings in the facade and interior walls. The living spaces and the sea and sunlight engage into a spatial play together that is very fascinating, and ironically lively. For anyone else than this particular client, this house would be not about awaiting death but about awaiting another sunrise to see the spectacle again. The theatre of light and space created in the living spaces on the upper floor is however by no means echoed on the exterior. As expressive as the interior may be, the exterior is very modest and a bit enigmatic in its appearance. It seems to have been created mainly in service of the interior, only expressing the consequences of the creation indoors, and someone passing by who does not know its motive might wonder at its height and quiet solemnity. The facades of the upper floor are finished with a uniform black cladding, and the lower floor and surrounding terrace are built in simple concrete. Only the shape of the windows and the ship’s anchors placed against the concrete downstairs might give you a hint of what this house is really about.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

We are inspired by the poetical approach the architects of Eastern Design Office have given to this project. Nowadays in speaking about elderly life and the final years, we talk a lot about practical affairs like who will take care of the elderly, what are the costs for society, where should they live etc. What is often forgotten when we address the ageing society from such an organisational angle, is that the latter phases of life also include many strong emotions and spiritual questions. In an era when religious traditions and rituals have lost their meaning for many people, also elderly, many are looking for new rituals and spiritual guidance that can guide us through these final days. It brings to mind how little we actually know about death and how little thought we are willing to give it compared to other ‘big decisions’ in life. In this light, the House Awaiting Death, the client and Eastern Design Office have provided us with an example how to design for ‘death’ as well as we are used to for ‘life’.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

TYPOLOGY: OTHER REVERSIBLE DESTINY LOFTS - ARAKAWA & GINS

The Reversible Destiny Lofts is an apartment building in Mitaka, Tokyo by artists/architects/poets couple Arakawa and Madeline Gins. Collaborating since 1963, together they have started the Reversible Destiny Foundation in 2010 and the movement Architecture Against Death (‘We have decided not to die.’). The Foundation’s research focusses on “the body, its simultaneously specific and non-specific relation to its surroundings” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reversible_destiny). The architectural body, the human body plus its immediate surroundings, is the unit of measure of their work, defining their works of architecture and art. They have completed a number of projects within this scope: - Bioscleave House (Lifespan Extending Villa) (East Hampton, New York, 2000–2008), the first architectural project that the Reversible Destiny Foundation has completed in the US. - Reversible Destiny Houses – Mitaka (Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan Completed October 2005) that we will discuss here, - Site of Reversible Destiny – Yoro (Yoro, Gifu Prefecture, Japan, 1993–1995), an ‘experience park’ with the main purpose to set visitors off balance and change their perception of space. Despite the uncomfortable tour and occasional minor accident, the park is a popular tourist spot. - Ubiquitous Site * Nagi’s Ryoanji * Architectural Body (Nagi Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan 1994) On the website www.reversibledestiny.org the foundation presents itself in a particularly difficult to use website, all in correspondence with the avoidance of comfort. Madeline Gins is still working on more projects, for instance in the elderly community BOOM by Hollwich Kuschner. Shusaku Arakawa has ironically passed away in 2010, but this is conveniently not mentioned on the website and perhaps still not entirely understood by his team. Arakawa and Gins stated in their work that we could prevent ageing and even eventually overcome death by keeping the body and mind fit and alert in everyday life. They have been exploring art as a way to “reverse the downhill course of human life”. They call this pursuit “reversible destiny,” which means that death does not have to be inevitable for humans. In the Bioscleave House as well as in the Reversible Destiny Houses in Mitaka, this involves a constant interacting of the body with its surroundings, avoiding comfort or relaxation because comfortable complacency eventually leads to death, according to Arakawa and Gins. The Bioscleave House has no inhabitants yet, but the Lofts in Mitaka have actual tenants. The Reversible Destiny Lofts MITAKA are managed by the Tokyo office of Arakawa + Gins (ABRF, Inc). The Lofts are currently used as residential and educational and cultural facilities. Some of these units are available for long and shortterm lease, of which information can be found on their website: http://www.architectural-body.com


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

The Reversible Destiny Lofts provide their inhabitants with constant physical challenge in their daily life: there are no even floors or convenient staircases, every little action requires crouching, climbing, bending, bowing or reaching. Sockets are placed in odd angles that makes it difficult to reach them. Your life will be a constant gymnastics course, and even sitting and sleeping will offer no full relaxation so that the body must remain active. The idea is carried out in every detail, not only challenging your arms, legs and back in constant movement, but also by activating the eyes with vibrant colours everywhere to be seen, and providing no doors between rooms, so that the spatial effects of the house can be felt throughout the whole of it. Windows are placed in such a way that the horizon cannot be seen, causing further disorientation that will challenge the equilibrium and brain even further. The challenges provided would have a stimulating effect on one’s immune system, Arakawa and Gins thought, that would stretch itself so far as to avoid death entirely. And not only that, but also the mind has to be lifted out of its comfort zone, constantly challenging it with the unexpected. The perception of our world, through our senses and through our bodies, are especially at home inclined to take this familiar space for granted, relax in it and think of something else. Arakawa and Gins thought that, if they would offer an environment that could surprise our senses, body and mind every moment, the thought of death would have no opportunity of entering our brain. We would exist in a permanent meditative state of mind dealing with our demanding surroundings, perhaps comparable to the state of mind we have when we are doing sports, and we would simply forget about dying. Of course to most people this project may seem at best amusing; it is hard to believe that we could actually live forever, and moreover not achieving this by complicated biotechnological means, but by simply altering our living environment. An easy critique would be that eventually even this strange home environment would become familiar, therefore its effect of constant surprise creating a ‘tentative’ attitude towards one’s environment can only be temporary. Nevertheless there is an intriguing idea to be distilled from the design approach of Arakawa and Gins. Their thorough analysis of the body’s interaction with the surrounding space, and the effects this space has on how the body and the mind reacts, is very valuable. We are altogether quite too apt to take this interaction for granted as designers, and do not but lightly touch it in our work. The emotional effects of the senses, especially of touch, on the mind and body, and the perception of space translated into its mental effects, are often entirely overlooked, or simplified into something that is simply ‘beautiful’. In (elderly) care environments this is especially important. In our research work for design for people with Alzheimer’s disease, we have learnt a thing or two about the immediate emotional effects of the experience of space through the senses and the movement through space. The space has therefore an immediate effect on the course of the disease and wellbeing of the patient. Also in other research involving healing environments, this psychological approach to architecture seems to gain credibility. The Groot Klingendaal rehabilitation centre in Hilversum, by architect Koen van Velsen, draws explicitly on the right balance between rest and activation, incorporating the green environment of the centre as well as vivid colours in the interior. To think about psychological and emotional effects that occur in the interaction of space and the body, is therefore not so very exotic at all, and although perhaps not directly leading to eternal life, it might nevertheless improve the quality of it.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

INTERVIEW WITH MORIKO KIRA

Manazuru Forest House – the project This project was initiated by Moriko Kira’s grandmother and a group of her close friends, who wanted to live together as they got older. This group of women had always had a non traditional liberated lifestyle, with a lot of activity in politics and culture. They were used to creating their own lives and therefore easily adopted collective living, which is otherwise still very unusual in Japan especially for the older generations. The other inhabitants rent their apartments from the grandmother’s family. Kira tells me she had initially discouraged the women to disembark on this adventure, thinking it an unwise, unsustainable investment. But the group insisted, so she agreed to take the commission in the end. Her prediction has nonetheless come true: despite the beauty of the site and the building, the group has not been able to refill empty rooms, so now the building has a vacancy to deal with that is not easy to overcome. There was no idea for continuity in this initiative, the client had not thought about what would happen after their lifetime. The property and the building budget came from the grandmother’s family, the piece of land had been in the family for a long time. The site is a beautiful natural landscape with a steep slope and lots of trees. Manazuru is a small fisherman’s village that began to attract city people because of its beautiful coast. The city people, often high educated and well situated, went to live on the slopes of the hills overlooking the sea, whereas the fishermen lived in the lower bay by the sea. These two groups regarded each other with some distrust, but the group of elderly ladies that lives in the group home have quite good relationship with their neighbours. The village is where they do their grocery shopping but they also obtain the necessary care and assistance from the village. Since there is no professional care organization involved in the housing project, the women organise this themselves. The Forest House has 10 private rooms with a kitchen and small shower bathroom, and a shared living room and kitchen, tatami room and large japanese bathroom. Relatives or friends who want to stay over can stay in an extra room or use the guest house on the property. The Forest House could be seen as a hybrid housing typology: on one hand it is one big family house, on the other it is an apartment building with 10 apartments. For example the ‘genkan’ where you take off your shoes is only at the front door of the house, so you are ‘at home’ in the whole building. But the broad corridors and the communal spaces are shared with the others, so not entirely private. In the design for the house many small design decisions together form a layered sequence of privacy and living together. For example, the corridors leading to the private rooms are extra wide, to they offer a bit of ‘territory’ in front of the doors of the private rooms, an extra moment in-between. The doors to the private rooms are sliding doors, applied often for wheelchair accessibility in Japan. Sliding doors also offer more possibilities that simply ‘open’ or ‘closed’: they can be left half open or a little bit open as well, in a very natural way. People need these kind of little things to be able to engage in social interaction in a comfortable way. This is extra important in housing situations where people share spaces with others, even of they are friends.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

Collective living and housing culture in Japan Also in the Netherlands more and more elderly people start their own group housing initiatives for their final years, often as a group of friends in their sixties. This new generation of elderly people is used to making their own decisions and designing their own lives, so they also want to do this for the last years, dreading large scale institutions that offer no individual options. The idea of the elderly group house is that they can depend on each other for informal care and that they will not be lonely while surrounded by kindred spirits. However the question is if these arrangements will truly be sustainable, as the idea often collapses with members of the group leaving or passing away, or with too many group members requiring intensive care and experiencing problems. Kira thinks a housing typology only for elderly people is destined to fail at some point, because there is no continuity; no younger people to fill the empty spots that will inevitably appear. The initiators are often not able or willing to see beyond their own lifetime, what will happen next. We have seen similar problems in elderly group houses in the Netherlands: without an impartial ‘coaching’ organisation that actively invests in the continuity of the group, sooner or later the initiative has a big change of falling apart. Kira thinks it is unwise to propose separate housing environments and typologies only for elderly people, and would rather propose a mixed housing community with different generations and housing typologies, that also offers room for care and assistance for elderly people but is not limited to just that. A resilient community combines different ages and different possibilities of living together. She refers to the work of Riken Yamamoto on collective housing, who is in his research actively seeking a place for elderly care within a housing community. This is a more resilient form of elderly care that can adapt to demographic changes, also after the peak of the ageing society, instead of just reacting to its symptoms. The group house as a private initiative is now becoming more and more popular in the Netherlands (called ‘CPO’, collective private housing initiative), and Moriko Kira has built several projects with groups of dutch couples building their homes together. Although building a house for yourself in Japan is more common than in the Netherlands, it is very unusual to do this together with other people. The japanese build a house for their family and this house is ‘for life’, they don’t move with every new phase in life like we do. Also living together with a group of friends is a lot less common in Japan than in the Netherlands. Young japanese people in the cities now start discovering the group home, enjoying the advantages of being able to rent a big apartment and share some facilities with other young professionals, but this a very new phenomenon. Students and young professionals used to rent a tiny studio or would still be living with their parents because independent housing is too expensive. Now there are websites where you can subscribe to a collective house, and Tokyo has a few housing corporations that offer this group living. For elderly people however, who are often used to a more traditional lifestyle, this is still very rare.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

The japanese care system The extensive welfare state care system with its large institutions that we have built in the Netherlands does not exist in Japan. Most people stay at home and receive home care – home care is relatively new in Japan but developing quickly now. Traditionally elderly care is a family affair performed by a daughter or daughter-in-law, and only when severe medical issues occurred the elderly person is taken to the hospital – so often the hospital is also the place where people eventually die. The government has since tried to stimulate the preservation of this family-based care as much as possible, but also in Japan the traditional family is losing ground so alternatives are needed. There are many commercial care companies that fill these gaps, but the big luxurious nursing homes they provide are very expensive and only available for the happy few. For people on a small budget no extra support is available so they depend entirely on their family or community for care and assistance. Moriko Kira is very critical about this system and the government’s attitude in Japan. She thinks it is a crime to ignore the shortcomings of the care system and simply force people to take elderly care upon themselves. The first generation of independent emancipated women in Japan, now in their forties and often unmarried, are forced to give up their freedom to care for elderly relatives or neighbours, because they feel morally obliged to do so. These women silently are forced to make a great effort and sacrifice a lot. Kira thinks it a great fault of the government to take advantage of this moral sense of obligation without offering enough support or alternatives. Meanwhile in the Netherlands the government is more and more pulling back from the comfortable but expensive welfare state, and is actively stimulating people to take care of elderly people themselves again within the family or community. The question is how to re-engage citizens that are used to receive the complete care package from the government. Kira thinks this is still better because it is about stimulating and not about forcing people, but it is yet unclear how this will develop in the future. A small advantage may be the dutch ‘direct’ way: Kira says she expects more from self-organisation in elderly care in the Netherlands than in Japan, because people here are more open in our discussions about it and more inclined to take action, whereas in Japan a lot of problems remain below the surface.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

The role of the architect Architects can play a role in the development of elderly care and housing, not by simply following demographic demands, but by forming a more thorough idea about what housing and care for the elderly should be. Kira does not agree with the manifold care projects that are in her view only responding to a temporary need. After the peak of the ageing society these buildings will become useless. She would rather propose architects spending their time on ideas for a more resilient housing environment, that can adapt itself to new lifestyles, demographic and social developments etc. Architects should be sensitive and facilitating to people’s needs, not forcing them into a lifestyle. Our contribution can be to connect different aspects in a new way, with an open minded design attitude. The architect should be aware that the answer to the question may not always be a building: especially in elderly care solutions may often rather be found in creating a network, a connection or a social structure – if you begin with thinking about a building you will have the wrong starting point. Kira thinks that, whereas healthcare of the 20th century was about ‘cure’, healthcare of the 21st century will be about ‘care’, about quality of life. The ‘cure’ system divided people in ‘sick’ or ‘healthy’, and the ‘sick’ category was placed outside of society in separate environments to get well. But this division in reality doesn’t exist: we are all both healthy and sick and we are all ageing every day. We should be including care in our society, and create a place for it in our everyday lives. Kira says when you are healthy and strong it is easy to live individualistically without neighbourhood contact. But when you experience some kind of vulnerability in life, you suddenly need your home environment for support – people should realise themselves this. This is what architects should help develop, a housing environment that offers inclusiveness and support for vulnerability or disabilities. An interesting typology that is also part of this research project is the neighbourhood daycare center. Kira thinks this a very good thing, because it is part of and connected with the normal housing environment, and it offers a very vital support in life for caregiving relatives. Daycare centers can be used for various activities for child care or elderly care for example for people with dementia – they can respond in a flexible way to the needs of the neighbourhood and are closely connected to people’s living environment. Elderly care at home is not an easy job, both physically and mentally, especially for caregivers that are also getting old themselves. If a government wants elderly people to stay at home and receive care from loved ones, the precondition must be that these caregivers are well assisted by professional caregivers in homecare or daycare centers. In the Netherlands this is not yet developed well enough to match the government’s ambitions for elderly care at home.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

‘LIMITATIONS TO THE ONE HOUSE = ONE FAMILY SYSTEM’ ARTICLE BY RIKEN YAMAMOTO, RIKEN YAMAMOTO & FIELD SHOP

Riken Yamamoto & Fieldshop propose with their ‘Community Area Model’ a radical change to mass housing as we know it. They claim the nuclear family can no longer be seen as the ‘mold’ for everything and propose a housing concept based on diversity, mixed-use and collective living. This also includes a different idea about elderly care and health care, that will be adopted in the colourful fabric of the new housing community. In their article displayed below they explain why this is necessary. Limitations of the ‘One House = One Family’ System The ‘One House = One Family’ system, or ideology, was first established in Europe in the 1920’s. This system assumes a single family unit to inhabit a single residential unit. In the 1920’s the aftermath of the First World War and the large number of working class labourers gravitating toward cities created a huge demand for inexpensive mass housing. Until then, urban housing for the working class had been pitiful at best. In fact, in 1910’s Vienna there were 5,734 housing units which would fall under the category of the ‘one house=one family’; yet the total number of such residents comprised only 1.2 percent of Vienna’s population.i Photographs from this era show that the majority of urban working class housing was shared between strangers at a disastrously high density. In such context, a house that can be inhabited by a single family was no doubt a dream home for the urban working class. As housing based on the ‘one house=one family’ system had to be provided in immense quantities, they required rigorous standardisation as well as rational construction methods. This lead to the extensive use of copying and pasting of the same housing layout, establishing a new building type: mass housing. Standardisation was synonymous to ‘repetition of the same housing layout’. Furthermore, standardisation of housing units lead, in turn, to the standardisation of families that inhabited them. In other words, by living in a ‘standard house’, people were imprinted with the concept of a ‘standard family’. Soon housing became a spatial devise in which its inhabitants were moulded into ‘standard families’. In Foucaultian words, housing became a training and disciplining device for standardising families. Therefore ‘one house=one family’ is a system for standardising houses and its inhabitants, as well as a system for providing houses.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

Standardised specimens of the ‘one house=one family’ system have the following characteristics. Firstly, they are extremely closed to the outside. This is primarily due to them being devices for reproduction – to raise children. Autonomy was also required within the ‘one house=one family’ system in order for the management and care of the inhabitants. Management and care, in this case, refer not only to that of children but to the management and care of all family members. Generally this has been the housewife’s role. If more families are self-sufficient in terms of the management and care of its members, communities and the country need to do less to support them. By assuming the standardised ‘one house=one family’ as the minimum unit of a nation, efficiency in governing that nation improved remarkably. Of course the autonomy and privacy amongst households achieved by the ‘one house=one family’ system were also beneficial to individuals. The 1920’s was the era of the Weimar Republic in Germany. 1918 saw the end of the First World War, with Germany on the losing side. In 1919 the Weimar constitution was written with the aim of creating a new national system. The Bauhaus was founded in the same year. The first CIAM conference was held in 1927. How cities should be, how housing should be standardised, and how they should be provided, were amongst the top agenda both at the Bauhaus and CIAM. It was then that the ‘one house=one family’ system was adopted. The ‘one house=one family’ system was effectively employed when countries required a new system for its government. In other words, the ‘one house=one family’ concept was introduced as a kind of national management system. It was the ultimate system conceived in the desperate aftermath of the First World War. After the Second World War this system was introduced via America to Japan, a country trying to create a new national image. Thus the ‘one house=one family’ system was brought to Japan, whose housing situation was more or less similar to that of 1920’s Europe. Until recently, the ‘one house=one family’ concept has served the country more than enough. This system, however, has become outdated. Today the average family size in urban Tokyo is 2.0 persons per family, most of which are elderly citizens. The current birth rate of 1.32* also testifies against the validity of the ‘one house=one family’ system. The fact that the birth rate must be raised to 2.07 in order to maintain the current national population already indicates a crisis for the system. The reality is that the ‘one house=one family’ unit is no longer effective as a device for reproduction. If the two members of a household were both elderly, the autonomy of that household in managing and caring for its members is compromised. If the basic principles of the ‘one house=one family’ system were based on the household’s autonomy and closed nature, the principles are already invalid. To make matters worse, there is a major contradiction in the way that ‘closed’ housing are still produced, whilst households are unable to maintain their autonomy and closed nature from within. Tragic incidents which keep occurring within these ‘one house=one family’ households are in fact outcries coming from the failing system itself. There is an urgent need to consider an alternative system which would eventually replace the outdated ‘one house=one family’ system. The debacle of the ‘one house=one family’ system is not only a family problem; neither is it a housing problem. It signifies the failing of a nation’s governing system. i Tourmin, S.& Janik, A.,Wittgenstein’s Vienna, Tokyo: Heibonsha, 2001.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

CONVERSATIONS WITH JAPANESE CARE PROFESSIONALS

1st of May 2013, Okura Hotel Amsterdam A japanese delegation of care professionals and experts was visiting the Netherlands to learn about our elderly care system and talk with a variety of organisations. I was kindly invited by the Dutch Institute for Cultural Studies and the Ministery of Economic Affairs to do a short presentation on architectural trends in elderly care and housing in the Netherlands, and present my research project Koreisha. The japanese group was surprised to hear that not only they were studying the Netherlands, but that there are also dutch people studying Japan. We entered in a very interesting conversation comparing our mutual systems and circumstances. Mr. Cretien van Campen of the Dutch Institute for Cultural Studies had presented his research on frailty with elderly people and its value for predicting their future care demand and life expectancy. He presented some interesting statistics, showing amongst others that our life expectancy has increased very much over the years, but our life expectancy without chronic diseases has actually dropped. We will live longer, but not without challenges, and not without a significant demand for care. Meanwhile the economical pressure on the care system as we know it is increasing. In my presentation I have shown some recent developments in the Netherlands, where the government is cutting costs and elderly people themselves also do not want to leave their house for a nursing home unless there is absolutely no other possibility. More and more people start organising care and housing themselves, mostly young elderly people in their sixties (the so-called third age) who are thinking about their future. For the last phase of their lives collective living with friends and self-organised care networks in the neighbourhood are increasingly popular. But also the government starts actively stimulating care by relatives or neighbours. I have also shown some elderly care typologies in Japan that I think we can learn from in the Netherlands, that also appear in this research. One is the neighbourhood daycare center, the other a modern interpretation of the three-generation house, where grandparents, parents and children live together.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

Mr Suzuki, board member of the Japan Medical Association, responds to my example of a modern three-generation house in Tokyo with the notion that family-based care in Japan is decreasing rapidly and that ever less elderly people live with their children’s families under one roof nowadays. In the Netherlands on the other hand we have forgotten about this possibility completely, since the institutional care system developed after the war. Perhaps a reintroduction of the three-generation house (or kangoeroewoning in dutch) would be interesting for us, although it will also here be a only small group of people who would really be interested in such a lifestyle. Mr Fujimoto CEO of Kennan Hospital asks if it is not difficult to want to re-introduce family-based care. In the 50s and 60s we have promoted care institutions for all as an ideal, so that people were free to develop themselves without having to bear the load of elderly care. Now that we have no ‘housewives’ anymore and while we need as many people as possible working to keep the economy going, the government is also trying to reintroduce family-based elderly care again. How could this be successful? The measures that our government is taking are of course still very recently developed, so a lot of things are still unclear. For example, if people have to work and take care of the elderly at home, we will have an even greater need for a decently organised support system for homecare and daycare centers to make this new idea even remotely feasible. This is supposed to be the responsibility of the municipalities from now on, but most of them also have budget problems and have already declared not to see possibilities for investing a lot extra in their social welfare programs. Professor Hirose of the School of Humanities and Culture of Tokai University is quite familiar with the dutch elderly care system, as she is also part of the .. Institute of Leiden University and she visits the Netherlands at least once a year. She is very interested in the typology of the ‘aanleunwoning’ in the Netherlands. Literally this means ‘a leaning house’: an independent house or apartment that is built close to a nursing home, where elderly people live independently but if care is needed it is always close. Prof. Hirose is interested to introduce this concept in Japan, and wonders why the dutch government has stopped building these apartments at some point. I must admit I do not know that reason either: ‘aanleunwoningen’ are still very popular in the Netherlands and many have a waiting list for admission. For elderly people it is an attractive concept to be able to live independently in their own house, but with help only 5 minutes away. This gives them a feeling of safety, even if they don’t need any care yet.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

BACKGROUND: THE DEMOGRAPHICAL CONTEXT IN JAPAN

The japanese population is ageing as one of the fastest in the world, caused by a demographic peak, combined with the highest longevity in the world. In 1950 less than 5% of the population was older than 65; in 2000 this was 17% and in 2027 it will be more than 27%. Between 1995 and 2025 the amount of people older than 75 will increase from 40% to 57% of all people older than 65, the highest number of ‘old elderly people’ or ‘fourth agers’ in the world. Combined with a low birth rate, this has a key influence on japanese family life, and on municipal and state policy that one way or another will have to cope with the increasing care demand. During WWII the japanese government actively promoted having many children in order to increase the japanese population from 73 million to 100 million people within 20 years. After the war the excessive population growth was seen as a problem, and planning a big family was discouraged. Between 1947 and 1957 the birth rate dropped from an average of 4,5 children per family to 2,0 children per family. During the following years is was more or less stable at ‘replacement level’, only to drop further from the 1970s. In 1980 the birth rate was 1,75 and in 1990 1,54. In 2000 the average number of children per woman was as low as 1,25, far less than the number of births necessary to keep up the population rate (2,10). Immigration or remigration are very low and do not contribute significantly to population growth. Since the 1990s and 2000s having many children is again promoted by the government, mainly by offering subsidies and child support programs. Population decrease is especially an issue in the countryside. In the past century also in Japan has urbanised strongly. Villages age rapidly and if they are very remote even have a birth rate of 0. The government is trying to persuade people to stay in their native villages instead of moving to the cities for jobs, and is also involved in pregnancy promotion in the countryside, although until now with little effect. Villages also have a shortage in eligible women on the marriage market, so that many men cannot find a partner. To prevent these men from also leaving their village, some municipalities even start their own matchmaking programs.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

BACKGROUND: THE ECONOMICAL CONTEXT IN JAPAN

Japan has slipped to the world’s third largest economy, falling behind the blistering speed of China’s manufacturing growth. China has expanded domestic industries and infrastructure, driven by a surge in exports. Multinational corporations have expanded in China, taking advantage of low labor costs. Japan, meanwhile, has been stuck in stagnation and deflation for two decades. Decisive economic policy has been lost in the revolving door of the country’s top leader, with Japan seeing six prime ministers in just five years. Looking ahead, Japan is facing a demographic tsunami, with the world’s fastest ageing population and one of the globe’s lowest birth rates. On the national debt issue, Japan’s parliament is struggling to cap its GDP-to-debt ratio, which is the world’s highest among developed nations. In its economical conditions Japan seems to share many issues with Europe. Our pattern of crises taking turns with small economical revival since the 1990s shows many similarities, though its inevitability has only come out since the bank crisis in 2008. We encounter the same, though less severe, problems on the ageing society, a shrinking population and a debt-crisis that weighs heavily on the monetary union. Like Japan, the economy in the Netherlands is based on high rates of import and export products, in an international market where we no longer first in line. Our ‘luck’ compared to Japan is that both the national debt and the ageing population are of a milder kind here, and that we have enough immigration to make up for an otherwise low birthrate. Governmental policies in Europe alike are focussing entirely on economic growth with all they have, at a moment in history when growth seems the least probable. This has made people wonder what will happen when ‘growth’ is no longer a realistic object. What will life be like then? Is an economic standstill necessarily a bad thing? Here again Japan could be called our precedent, since the economy has effectively not grown since the 1990s. Tokyo is therefore the object of a research project called Still City, by Monnik, investigating what life is like past economical growth.http://stillcity.org/tagged/SCT2012


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

BACKGROUND: THE SOCIAL CONTEXT IN JAPAN

The Japanese society and quality of life The OECD distinguishes eleven factors in their Better Life Index, ranking developed countries in their estimated quality of life: housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance. Whereas the average wealth and income in Japan are well above average and a high living standard can be expected, the difference in wealth between the richest and the poorest in Japan is big and ever increasing. Japan has a high employment rate (80% of men and 60% of women have a paid job), and also has a high score on education level way above OECD average. The difference between men and women in employment of 20% is a lot larger than the OECD average, referring to a still quite traditional family lifestyle and better possibilities for men on the labour market. This is seconded by the amount of unpaid domestic work, at which women spend four times as much hours per day than men. Life expectancy at birth is high and Japan has the lowest amount of obese people of all OECD countries. The japanese have the lowest % of people reporting themselves to be in good health, only 30% to an OECD average of 70% and 77% in the Netherlands. The OECD indicates that this %, although subjective, could be an indication for the care demand in the near future. Also the sense of life satisfaction is low in Japan: 6,1 (on a scale from 1 to 10) compared to an average of 6,7 in all OECD countries and 7,5 in the Netherlands. Last but not least, the sense of community and amount of volunteering activities is just a bit higher than OECD average. Curiously, nearly 15% of people in Japan reported ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ spending time with friends, colleagues or others in social settings; this is the highest figure in the OECD. Also the work-life balance is poor in Japan compared to other OECD countries and the Netherlands, with a small amount of time per day available for personal care and leisure activities. In Japan almost 30% regularly works long hours (>50 hours per week), compared to 0,7% in the Netherlands. Parents in Japan find it difficult to combine work and family commitments. Workplace practices, private costs, and social norms put pressure on young people. Hence, young Japanese postpone marriage, delay parenthood and often have fewer children than intended. Japanese social policy has introduced several measures to reduce barriers to both parenting and employment. However, despite these efforts, policies such as childcare can be further developed. Increasing childcare provision and reducing private costs of out-of-school services are both crucial for parental employment. Japanese public spending on childcare and preschool services is the fourth lowest among OECD countries.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

Although the sense of community and filial obligation is strong in Japan, the OECD numbers also indicate how little time and possibilities japanese people have to actually partake in volunteering work for the community or family care. This is a dilemma that is hard to break: on one hand the japanese society needs a lot of people voluntarily doing domestic work including child care and elderly care, traditionally befalling to women. On the other, it needs as many people as possible in paid jobs to keep the economy going and to be able to pay for healthcare and other public services, so women would have to work more. One of the unwanted outcomes of this schism is the social obligation for independent, emancipated women to give up their careers and life in order to care for their ageing parents. In the Netherlands we face similar problems in the worker-retiree ratio. However in our society family-based elderly care has disappeared a long time ago with the introduction of the welfare state in the 1960s. Now that this system has become too expensive, the government is stimulating (or forcing) elderly care back into the private home environment again, but it is yet unsure who will actually perform these duties and how feasible such a plan will turn out to be The japanese household and the elderly In 2003, 3.24 million Japanese 65 or older were living alone. Most had lost their spouse, some were divorcees. In many cases they rarely saw their children. These days more and more old people are choosing to live alone, in many cases because they don’t want to be a burden to their families. The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research estimates that 30 percent of Japanese 65 and older live alone and that figure is expected to rise to 40 percent by 2030. Since the end of World War II the nuclear family has been steadily replacing the traditional Japanese extended family that often had three generations, even four generations living under one roof. The number of three-generation households decreased from 56 percent in 1972 to 29,7 percent in 1999. Elderly people that do not live with their children, that live ‘alone’, are still seen as lonely or to be pitied for not living the common image of a good elderly life. But some elderly people don’t want to live with their children. They are much to attached to their freedom and privacy, as are their children. The last 20 years the percentage of elderly people that live with their children has decreased significantly, by a combination of social and economical factors. Most elderly people that do live with their children are very frail and need a lot of care, and/or have lost their partner. In a questionnaire issued with high school children, only 15,7% indicated that they would be willing to take upon them the care for their parents when they are old.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

BACKGROUND: THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN JAPAN

Japanese families have traditionally taken care of their ageing parents and sending them to nursing homes has been considered a cruel and irresponsible form of abandonment. Up until 1994, there was one paid nursing home with private rooms in all of Japan and it charged initiation fees of $1 million to $2 million yen. In 2002, nursing care insurance was introduced to reduce the burden on families who look after elderly relatives. It requires all Japanese 40 and over to pay special premiums used to provide nursing care if they need it after the age of 65. Already the system is being overwhelmed and premiums will probably have to be raised. Japan is ageing faster than other nation: the result of the one world’s smallest birth rates combined with the world’s longest living people. The rate is twice as fast as in other industrialized countries. The government offers a wide range of social services for older people in their homes, including providing workers who will cook meals and bath people who need help. In the future there is expected to be more demand for these kinds of services and their cost will be more of a strain on the government. There is already a shortage of caregivers to take care of the elderly. The japanese Long-term Care Insurance is a system in which society as a whole supports people and their families who are faced with a situation in which someone needs long-term care. Under this system, the municipality acts as the insurer, and all residents 40 years old and older pay an insurance premium. The premium that the residents >40 have to pay is based on their income, and the total expenses paid by the municipality for services in the long-term care program, which is revised every three years. Apart from the long-term care insurance, most people also have regular medical insurance through the company they work for, in which the long-term care insurance premium then is included. Costs of the Long-term Care System in Japan compared with the Netherlands and other countries The total health care and nursing home costs in 2025 are expected to be almost $1 trillion, about 12 percent of Japan’s total GDP (gross domestic product). Most japanese pay about a $100 a month into a pension system regardless of how much they earn. Self-employed sometimes don’t pay into this system. Non-working housewives pay nothing into the social security system but are entitled to full pensions. Currently pensioners receive tax deductions. Currently pension payments for a person who worked as company employee and was married to a person who did not work around is ¥233,000 a month, about 59 percent of an average monthly take home pay. People over 75 are only required to pay 10 percent of medical costs incurred at hospitals. One municipality in Tokyo (Hinodemachi) has promised to provide free health care for the elderly starting in 2009. Nevertheless the worker-retiree ratio in Japan will be decreasing further, pressing on the economical and social circumstances of the country.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

In 2010 8,5% of GDP was spent on total health care costs in Japan, vs. 12% in the Netherlands (OECD), at a higher % of elderly people in Japan. In the Netherlands today 3,5% of the GDP is spent on long term care (source CPB). Care in the Netherlands is in Europe even relatively expensive, three times more expensive than for instance in Germany, that has a higher % of elderly people, and two times more expensive than in France (NRCNext 24 augustus 2012). In the Netherlands there is also a high level of elderly care and more people live in a nursery home than in Germany or France. The % of long term care costs in the Netherlands is comparable to Sweden. The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) provides data on demography and government expenses in all developed countries. These data have here been applied comparing Japan and the Netherlands: - life expectancy ant birth (2009): Japan 83 (highest in the world), the Netherlands 80,6. - years gained since 1960: Japan 15,2 (highest of all reviewed OECD countries), the Netherlands 7,1. - total costs of healthcare in 2009 and 2010 as % of GDP: Japan 8,5%, the Netherlands 12%. - total costs of healthcare per capita in 2010: Japan 2878 US dollar pppy, the Netherlands 4914 US dollar pppy (the Netherlands is at the 4th place of all OECD countries). - annual growth of healthcare in last 10 years in %: Japan 2,4%, the Netherlands 4,4% - % of healthcare spent on long term care in 2009: Japan 9%, the Netherlands 22% “Large differences remain between countries in their expenditure on long-term care. Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, with established and extensive formal arrangements for elderly and disabled care, allocate around a quarter of their total health spending to long-term care. By contrast, in eastern and southern European countries, where care tends to be provided in more informal or family settings, expenditure on long-term care accounts for a much smaller share of total health spending.� (OECD) - % of costs covered by the general government: Japan: 81%, the Netherlands: 85% (highest of all reviewed countries; the OECD average is 71%) - % of people >65 reporting to be in good health in 2009: Japan 20%, the Netherlands 60% (OECD average 45%) - % of people >60 with dementia in 2009: Japan 6,1%, the Netherlands 5,4% (OECD average 5,5%) - direct cost of dementia in % of GDP in 2009: Japan 0,77%, the Netherlands 0,43% (OECD av. 0,49%) - % of people >65 receiving long term care in 2009: Japan: 12,6% of which 77% at home, the Netherlands 19,4% of which approximately 2/3 at home (OECD average 12,2%). - long-term care beds in institutions and hospitals per 1000 people >65: Japan: 37,4, the Netherlands 68,5 - long-term care public expenditure as % of GDP in 2009: Japan: 1%, the Netherlands 3,8% Within Europe, the Netherlands together with the Nordic countries accounts for the highest % of residential and semiresidential care, whereas the eastern european countries have the lowest % in this and also a still rather underdeveloped home-care infrastructure. See the website www.koreisha.nl for a more elaborate comparison between countries and their care policies.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

JAPANESE ELDERLY CARE: IDEAS WORTH SHARING

Though coming from a different background, the japanese elderly care system is not entirely different from systems common in Europe, its main differences with the Netherlands being the amount of elderly care institutions and nursing homes and the amount of government support for these. Healthcare and elderly care is compared regularly between countries, and many ideas applied in Japan are copied from Scandinavian countries or Germany. The japanese delegation that we spoke to in the Okura hotel in Amsterdam was visiting a different European country each year and studied their various elderly care facilities. Japan and Europe face many similar problems, however in Europe we have the advantage of both a slower development of the ageing society and an earlier awareness and development of welfare state and social ideals in the 1960s and 1970s. However there are also a few examples of elderly care facilities and ideas that come from Japan, that are unknown in but could be beneficial for the Netherlands. In this research we are looking at building typologies that could give us a few clues. But besides building typologies there are also some care system ideas available in Japan that could be worthy of an introduction in the Netherlands. 1. Fureai Kippu Fureai Kippu, or ‘Caring Relationship Tickets’, is a Japanese sectoral currency created in 1995 by the Sawayaka Welfare Foundation so that people could earn credits helping seniors in their community. The basic unit of account is an hour of service to an elderly person. Seniors can help each other and earn the credits, that they can keep and exchange for services when they are in need of it. But also family members in other communities can earn credits and transfer them to their elderly parents who live elsewhere. Elderly people often even prefer someone working for ‘furreai kippu’ over someone working for yen, because of the nature of the relationship and the value of it for the community. This care currency system is now also adopted by other countries, for example China since 2005. In the Netherlands the Cardanus Foundation together with ZonMW have carried out a pilot project of furreai kippu in Amstelveen. With the current policy ideas to shift services for the elderly from the state to the welfare budget of the municipalities, municipalities could be interested in implementing such a system further. It corresponds also with some other initiatives in the Netherlands like ‘We Helpen’ (www.wehelpen.nl) and ‘Lekker Leven’ (www.lekkerleven.nl) that act as Ebay-like exchange media for people offering or in need of various at-home services for the elderly, either voluntarily or for money. 2. Care-managers and municipal organisation. Elderly care in Japan is largely organised in the municipality, whereas in the Netherlands it has mostly been a state affair. Now the dutch government is trying to transfer a lot of the responsibilities of elderly care and welfare to the municipalities, although yet unclear how exactly, we might look into the japanese system to learn the benefits and challenges of such an organisation.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

3. the Lion’s Club and other ideas on corporate social responsibility The Lion’s Club in Japan is a charity organisation (“We serve Japan”) funded by companies that supports various welfare programs in society. In Japan in general it is a lot more common for companies to do something for the community than in the Netherlands. As we are used to have such an extensively developed welfare state perhaps there also was no need for this so far, as people as well as companies were always used to having the government provide for everything concerning public interest. As a result, the so called MVO policies (‘socially conscious entrepreneurship’) that companies put in their annual reports imply often little more than recycling some coffee cups and print paper. Also with the current severe socio-economical issues regarding the welfare state, with the government cutting costs and charging citizens, companies manage – and are allowed – to look the other way. 4. Robotics There is an interesting theory that tries to explain the differences in adopting robotics in everyday life between Europe and Japan. In Japan they seem to be accepted effortlessly by all target groups and also are increasingly taking up their role in elderly care, whereas in Europe and the US people find robots scary and protest against their replacing real people. This difference in attitude towards technological development apparently has its origin in the religious backgrounds. Europe’s Christian background divides the world into good and evil, and technology is often put in the latter category, as proof of men’s hubris trying to fiddle with God’s creation, inventing our own ‘lifeforms’. These machines we create will turn themselves against us, like in various hollywood films, and it is considered a better idea to distrust technological development and -like the Amish in the US, or certain Christian communities in the Netherlands refusing vaccins against diseases- stay away from it altogether. In Japan the prevailing religions are Buddism and Shinto, of which Shinto has most influence on daily rituals and ceremonies. Shinto has many Gods and gods, in all shapes and sizes, and attributes a soul or a spirit to everything, humans and animals as well as plants and stones. There is no clear distinction between good and evil, as some spirits can be benevolent and other malignent, or both as they tend to change their mind. If anything can be a spirit, then it is perhaps not so difficult to accept robots as just another form of life – and potentially helpful and benevolent lifeforms, too. In elderly care in Japan at least a lot more examples of robotics can be found than in Europe. There are working robots that clean the floors and deliver medication and supplies in hospitals, there are lizard-like exoskeletons that enable small nurses to lift any elderly person out of their bed with one arm, and there is a variety of cuddling robots for lonely elderly people, like Paro the seal or baby dolls that respond to attention and cuddling with cute sounds and have a reassuring effect. Paro was designed by Takanori Shibata of the Intelligent System Research Institute in 1993, and has also been tested in some nursing homes in the Netherlands.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

KOREISHA PHASE 1: CONCLUSIONS AND IDEAS

This online magazine and the website www.koreisha.nl show the results of the first phase of the Koreisha research project, that we have been working on from January to May 2013. We have studied the japanese situation and elderly care in general, compared with the Netherlands and other countries, and we have investigated building typologies and specific projects. The result is a broad overview of elderly care and its architectural typologies in Japan, for which several architects and other professionals have been kind enough to contribute material and ideas. The research has resulted in a number of articles and interviews, as well as a typological review of four building types, and some additional projects representing a particular idea. In general the main differences between the japanese long-term care system is the financing and insurance system, and the strong emphasis on elderly care within the family, voluntarily or not. The building types that we have distinguished are: the nursing home, the daycare center, the three-generation house, and collective living. Conclusions There are various things we can learn from the japanese situation, and japanese architecture in regard to elderly care. From looking at the japanese care system and politics, compared to other countries, there is no particular lesson to draw since all reviewed countries seem to be more or less involved in the same quest and no one seems to have ‘the solution’. Nevertheless, as japanese care professionals visit our country and other european countries to learn about new ideas, we can also pick a few cherries from their care tree that we haven’t thought of yet here. We can also learn from Japan what doesn’t work, for instance that forcing relatives into caring for their elderly loved ones can cause tragedies and suffering if people do not get the proper support, and with an ever increasing number of people living alone it can never become the default – as the dutch government is now sometimes hinting at. In the Netherlands we know that the welfare state and a fully institutionalised care is also not the way to go: it is one of the most expensive systems in the world and yet has a bad reputation among its own target group. Countries facing the ageing era might want to bet on a third scenario: a combination of professional care in a sustainable and resilient housing community facilitating diversity, local exchange and collectivity. This is partly an architectural question, but in a broader sense it refers to a paradigm shift surpassing the question of elderly care alone – it is about our whole social system and the way it is represented in our cities and built environment.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

Architecturally Japan has a lot to offer, with some of the leading offices in the world, and a multicoloured slipstream of young designers diving into the market for detached single family houses, that seem to have become an important means of self-expression for the upper middle class in the cities. The japanese are used to building their own house: they build a house for their family basically for life. As only the plot represents the value to sell it afterwards and the house is always demolished after a few decades, they are also not concerned with their house being ‘sellable’ on the market and the private house can therefore be as wildly designed as you wish. But besides all these giddy experiments there are also some substantial values to be found in japanese architecture, from traditional ancient houses to various examples of contemporary work. There seems to be a particular attention for the in-between space, the multi-interpretable and many layers and ambiguity between the public and the private. Perhaps this has something to do with an equally great amount of carefulness in dealing with other people, but this great sensitivity is definitely something worth studying, especially in design for vulnerable people and for encouraging social exchange. In the Netherlands Herman Herzberger has perhaps elaborated most on this subject, always carefully studying how people move and interact, and what spatial means would be necessary to create the right scene. If we are to rely upon each other in dealing with social issues like elderly care and the transformation of the welfare state, these methods might lead the way. The most valuable lesson that we have drawn from our research, is that meaningful solutions for elderly care have to be sought not in the medical sphere, but in the housing community. Professional care, care by relatives and care by neighbours or friends, will all take place within the living environment in order to be resilient enough to deal with current social developments. Elderly care is in that sense not just about the elderly, but somehow affects all people in the community. In the years to come, economical development will be smaller in its granularity, more local and more distributed. Access to facilities through local networks will be the standard and will require a certain opening up of individual lives towards sharing and exchanging. Not because of idealism, but because there will be no sustainable alternatives. The architecture that is to ‘solve’ elderly care will be designs for new ways of living together, combining functions and people to create manyfold relations. This also requires a slightly different idea on ownership and the housing market, as well as urban planning and development as we know it, still too attached to modernist ideas of the large-scale, the mono-functional and the economy as we knew it. Further investigation In the next phase of our research project we want to visit projects in Japan and meet some of the architects there, in order to establish an exchange of knowledge and experience between the Netherlands and Japan. We would like to visit some of the projects and speak with some of the architects already involved in the research, but we also are thinking about adding a layer of research in particular about the in-between and new ways of building communities that could be valuable in leading our own way of caring and housing in the Netherlands into new directions. The transformation of the big institutions in society, the care institute, the housing corporation, etc, is starting to take place now. In Japan there are also some shifting perspectives in urban living and communities. We would be interested in following these leads and see where they will take us.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

KOREISHA PHASE 1: PEOPLE AND PARTNERS

Partners: Koreisha was kindly supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL http://www.stimuleringsfondscreatieveindustrie.nl/en/grants_issued/1684/koreisha

People: We are very grateful to the following people and parties that have taken an interest in our research project and who have contributed to our research with their knowledge and ideas: Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop, Ai Kubota and Kazumi Masaki Muramatsu Architects, Motoyasu Muramatsu SANAA, Tomoko Fukuhara Eastern Design Office, Anna Nakamura Suppose Design Office Moriko Kira Architect, Moriko Kira Professor Mariko Hirose, School of Humanities and Culture of Tokai University Mr Suzuki, board member of the Japan Medical Association, and his group of care professionals visiting NL Cretien van Campen, SCP Marielle Rillaerts, AgentschapNL Cathelijne Nuijsink Marieke Kums, MAKS Architecture Monnik, Edwin Gardner and Vincent Schipper

Projects: A map of all the projects reviewd canbe found on the back of this magazine.


Koreisha

Architectural Research Project

KOREISHA PHASE 1: SOURCES AND LINKS Project descriptions courtesy of the architects Literature on Japanese Culture and Society in regard to Elderly Care

‘The Study of the Family in Japan’ John Knight and John W. Traphagan, from the book ‘Demographic Change and the Family in Japan’s Aging Soci ety’ 2003, State University of New York, ISBN10:0-7914-5649-8, ISBN13:978-0-7914-5649-1 OECD (2011), ‘Health at a Glance 2011: OECD Indicators’, OECD Publishing, ISBN 978-92-64-11153-0 Ancien/Enepri Research Reports on Elderly Care in various European Countries Wikipedia ‘Ageing Japan’ http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/countries/japan/ http://edition.cnn.com/2011/BUSINESS/02/13/japan.economy.third/index.html http://www.indexmundi.com/japan/economy_profile.html http://www.oecd.org/japan/

Literature on the japanese long-term care system and government policies http://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/wp/wp-hw6/index.html http://www.city.shinjuku.lg.jp/foreign/japanese/pdf/other/kaigo2012_e.pdf http://www8.cao.go.jp/kourei/english/annualreport/2010/2010pdf_e.html http://longevity.ilcjapan.org/f_issues/0701.html http://www.niph.go.jp/journal/data/61-2/201261020007.pdf http://www.ilcjapan.org/linksE/doc/Overview_of_the_Revision_of_LTCI.pdf Literature on Japanese Architecture and Housing ‘How to Make a Japanese House‘ – Cathelijne Nuijsink, Nai Publishers 2012 Wikipedia ‘Housing in Japan‘ ‘New Japan Architecture’ Geeta Mehta and Deanna MacDonald, Tuttle Publishing 2011 general architecture websites such as archdaily.com, dezeen.com etc. Literature on Riken Yamamoto ‘Riken Yamamoto‘ by Wilhelm Klauser and Riken Yamamoto, 1999, Birkhauser Verlag, ISBN-10: 3764359617, ISBN-13: 978-3764359614 JA51 Riken Yamamoto 2003 – essay The Social Nature of Architecture, Riken Yamamoto www.y-gsa.jp/en/studio/yamamoto/index.html Riken Yamamoto – Baunetz Woche 263 Learning from Tokyo film Master of Architecture in Collective Housing – Riken Yamamoto http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m75K1fOVWFE Literature on Traditional Japanese Housing Teiji Itoh ‘Alte Haüser in Japan’ published and photographed by Yukio Futagawa, Stuttgart Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1984, ISBN 3-421-02810-9 Literature on Daycare Centers/ Takuroujo ‘New Trials of the Elderly Living in Japan – community based care facilities’ Prof.Dr.Eng. Kazuoki Ohara, Department of Architecture, Yokohama National University Literature on SANAA El Croquis 121-122 El Croquis 139 Literature on Moriko Kira Architects ‘The Story of Manazuru Forest House‘, Moriko Kira Media projects: images courtesy of the architects other: images courtesy of wikimedia commons



Koreisha magazine June 2013