1990 – Aoyama Technical College – Makato Sei Watanabe

Ayoma Technical College is an otherwise innocuous building surmounted by a sinister form suggesting a cross between an insect and a motorcycle. The design is based on the winning entry in a competition that had among its jurors Yoshiro Ikehara and Riken Yamanoto. The facility, located on a narrow street, contains classrooms, faculty space and a gallery. The ellipsodial formon the is a water tank and the two feeler-like appendages behind it are lightning rods. The “body” of the machine/insect is clad in aluminium panels in four colors.

The architect himself describes his work as following: “The Aoyama Technical College building is also intended to restore the fundamental strength that buildings ought to have. Ancient structures, from the Pyramids to the great cathedrals, possessed the awesome power of large spaces. Most of modern architecture, it seems to me, has lost this basic power. Architecture ought to be something capable of moving people’s hearts and giving them a physical thrill in a way possible in no other art. That power deserves to be restored. Another purpose of this building is to assure that anyone who might see it experiences, both mentally and physically, an definitive feeling of excitement.

The completion of this building proved a potent stimulus to the disorderly, chaotic area in which it stands. The effect of this structure proposing a new principle for creating architecture in the city will spread, helping people to stop and think about the way they want their cities to be. They can thus change their communities, as well as Tokyo as a whole, into better worlds.”


Name: Aoyama Technical College │Type: Education│Architect: Makato Sei Watanabe│Completed: 1990

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