With little fanfare, the Kitakami Market and Youth Center opened the doors of its new, permanent home. On Wednesday morning, a small group of friends observed the commencement. The intimacy of the ceremony came at the request of Sato-san, the Market's proprietor, who felt a break was needed following two long days of moving supplies and furniture.
"On Jan. 21st, the temporary shop was removed from the site, and the certificate of completion was issued the next day.
The market opened on January 23rd. Because the staff was exhausted from moving all the equipment and store
goods days before, the owner decided to open the store quietly with very
few members of the community invited," Aki reported. He posted images from opening day, and related plans for the
first activities to be hosted at the youth center.
Already the building's in
hot demand. "A local group of mothers with young children and babies are planning to
hold an afternoon nursery. English conversation class is also scheduled
at the multipurpose room for kids to attend after school. And Japan
Institute of Architects (JIA Miyagi) have reserved their place at the
multipurpose room to station their consultation services."
"Wow," says Hiromi. Even she was impressed by the number of conversations and ambitions.
But not surprised. "The market is the first new building in the area with public space." Put another way, it's exactly what the doctor ordered. "Plus it's along a main road leading to the temporary housing complexes. Everyone is going to pass it going into town or coming back home."
It didn't take long for people to start shopping there either. Sato-san was quickly behind the register ringing up customers. The Market/Youth Center can operated as a one-woman show, if need be. From her post behind the register, Sato-san can monitor everything going on in both sides of the building. Exactly what she asked the architect for.
At the moment the market is only selling packaged items. Soon the kitchen will open and patrons can take meals or tea in the adjacent space.
Hiromi shakes her head looking through Aki's photos. "I told him to
get shots with people in them!" She sighs. "Architects."
See Part 2 to learn what on earth "Interiority" means.