KAMIKATSU ZERO WASTE CENTER, Japan by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

conceiving an architecture that will not produce waste

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP for providing the following description:
all photos by Koji Fujii / TOREAL


The town of Kamikatsu in Tokushima Prefecture aims to become a sustainable recycling community and has pledged to produce zero waste. Its recycling rate has already reached 80% by sorting trash into 45 categories, with used items displayed like a store at the recycling center. As mass-production, mass-consumption society shows signs of an impasse, there are high anticipations both home and abroad for this movement.

▼项目概览,overview of the project © Koji Fujii / TOREAL


The project consists of a plan for the core facility of this town, with multiple functions including a trash sorting/collection station and recycling center, as well as a center that promotes and teaches about the zero-waste movement.

▼远眺建筑,view in distance © Koji Fujii / TOREAL

▼场地内外的视角,views from different directions © Koji Fujii / TOREAL

▼建筑立面,the facade © Koji Fujii / TOREAL

▼立面细部,details of facade © Koji Fujii / TOREAL


We conceived architecture that will not produce waste, could be sorted, and could eventually be downsized.

▼分类广场,townspeople sorting plaza © Koji Fujii / TOREAL

▼储存场地,stock yard © Koji Fujii / TOREAL


Our first step was to use cedar wood that could be harvested locally to recycle forestry resources while minimizing the carbon footprint. We decided to use logs in their original form because rotary-cut cedar would produce wood waste. Considering that the declining population and technology advances will eventually reduce trash volume, we repeated the cross-section of the timber- framed structure so it could be easily downsized. The finish is conspicuous, with bolts used for the joints so that local contractors can handle construction/maintenance and sorting is simplified when demolished.

▼入口大厅,encounter hall © Koji Fujii / TOREAL

▼回收商店,reuse shop © Koji Fujii / TOREAL

▼社区空间,community hall © Koji Fujii / TOREAL

▼办公区,office/laboratory © Koji Fujii / TOREAL

▼回收装置细部,details of the recycled materials © Koji Fujii / TOREAL


We viewed discarded fittings and farming tools etc. as resources, recycling them as the exterior and fixtures of the building. We also used glass bottle cullets as terrazzo aggregate. At the recycling center with a wall covered with stacked bureaus, a grandmother may point to her former bridal chest of drawers and share family history with her grandchild.

▼酒店,hotel © Koji Fujii / TOREAL


By visualizing and making maximum use of Kamikatsu’s resources and not considering them to be “waste,” we begin to value things and become aware of the richness of the local lifestyle.

▼酒店中庭,atrium in the hotel © Koji Fujii / TOREAL

▼室内空间,interior view © Koji Fujii / TOREAL


The identity of the town is embodied in this architecture so that town residents can hold pride in their way of living.

▼夜景,night view © Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

▼平面图,plan © Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

▼剖面图,section © Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

Photo credit:
Koji Fujii / TOREAL
Drawing credit:
Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

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