Earthquake’s after effects

The devastating earthquake in the Japanese city of Kobe could have serious repercussions for interior design and architecture in the whole of Japan, says Tokyo-based British architect Tom Heneghan of The Architecture Factory.

`Increased building costs to counter future earthquakes… are likely to mean that buildings will require greater life spans, and that architecture will be less part of the consumer culture,’ says Heneghan.

There may also be implications for foreign consultancies.

`Prospects for foreign architects may diminish,’ predicts Heneghan. `Clients who previously appointed famous name foreign architects may prefer to be “safe” rather than “stylish”.’

As resources are redirected into the devastated area of Kobe, other less pressing building projects are likely to be put on hold, according to one London architect working in Japan.

Manser Associates director Michael Manser, who was appointed three weeks ago to design a golf clubhouse on an island off Osaka, says: `There is little chance it will go ahead.’

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