Modern Architecture

One of the most famous architects in and beyond Japan was Kenzo Tange, who was born on September 4th 1913 in Osaka, died on March 22nd 2005 in Tokyo. He was considered the foremost representative of  “New Building” in his country. His Hiroshima Peace Centre made him well-known especially in the 1950s. His style connects the modern simplicity of the French architect Le Corbusier and the Japanese tradition of building. He truly impressed with his unusual ideas for his “Plans for Tokyo” (1960), when he tried to extend the cramped capital into the Tokyo Bay with bridges, artificial islands and swimming multi storey car-parks.

Some of his projects are:

  1. Hiroshima Peace Centre, 1949/56
  2. Gyms for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, 1964
  3. International Conference Centre in Kyoto, 1964/65
  4. Fuji Television Building in, 1994. The building is one of the new sight seeing attractions in Tokyo. A huge globe looks like a UFO that crashed into the building. This globe is an exhibition space open to visitors.

Kisho Kurokawa, born April 8th 1934 in Nagoya, became known worldwide as the co-founder and main representative of Metabolism. Metabolic buildings and cities can adapt themselves to the changing requirements of their residents. Later, Kurokawa developed a new theory, according to which opposites such as architecture vs. nature or private vs. public should be overcome. Amongst his works are the Museum of Ethnology and the Bunraku Theatre in Tokyo, and the Museum of Art in Hiroshima. Moreover, he is the designer of the National Gallery of Tokyo which is currently being built.

Arata Isozaki, born July 23rd 1931 in Oita (Kyushu), is a Japanese architect who originally also represented Metabolism. However, later he considered geometry to be the true origin of Japanese design: “The square and the circle are the only reliable tools for an architect.” Examples are the very simply kept, geometric compositions like the Golf Club in Oita and the Museum of Arts in Gunma. His reasoned dealing with plain geometric forms and the display of light and shadow are striking.
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