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Prefab Ocean Huts Rise on Quake-Damaged Site in Japan

They will host a cafe, surf shop, and more

Traditional and clean-lined at the same time, the pitch-roofed house—or, in many cases, a whole "village" of them—has found modern popularity. Falling right in line behind this minimalist kindergarten in Denmark and these gorgeous english beach houses is a new cluster of prefab seaside huts in Otsuchi, Japan, a coastal community devastated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

Designed by Tokyo firm Zai Shirakawa Architects & Associates, the five huts are raised on a platform and vary in size. They do, however, all have super steep rooflines, enveloping shingle cladding, and flexible, open interiors. The buildings will serve as a cafe, surf, shop, meeting space, and more. Another win for the humble gable.