Since leaving Japan, I have become aware of, and incredibly fond of, Metabolism, a Japanese architectural style born out of Modernism which–to me at least–has Brutalist overtones. It speaks to me of an unrealised utilitarian future.
It seems few Metabolist buildings were constructed, and even fewer remain standing today–they were often impractical, and did not age well, leading to many being demolished or heavily altered.
A number of the remaining buildings can be found in the Minato-ku district of Tokyo and, in spite of spending two years working there, I never took the opportunity to really pay these buildings the respect they deserve. A little over a year ago, I decided to right that wrong, visiting both the Nakagin Capsule Tower, and the Yamanashi Press and Broadcast Center.
If you’re interested in reading further, here are a few of the highlights I discovered1:
- Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Center by Kenzo Tange, 1957
- Sky House by Kiyonori Kikutake, 1958
- Yamanashi Press and Broadcaster Center by Kenzo Tange, 1961
- Nakagin Capsule Tower by Kisho Kurogawa, 1972
- Hotel Sofitel Tokyo by Kiyonori Kikutake, 1994
I’d also love to hear about the buildings and details I’ve inevitably missed. ↩