1992 – Edo Toyko Museum – Kiyonori Kikutake

Kiyonori Kikutake designed the Edo Tokyo Museum to preserve “Edo,” the memory of Tokyo when it was known under feudalism. The foundations of modern Japan were laid during this time. It stands 62 meters tall, the same as Edo castle, with a pilaster design that opens up a public square below while establishing a monumental edifice for all to see. Completed in 1992, the museum exhibits a replica of Nihonbashi bridge, models of towns, and the Nakamuraza theatre. Like it or not, you must admit it portrays the isolationism and thirst for privilege of this time period.

Some buildings hug the earth. Buildings by Kiyonori Kikutake tend to keep the earth at arn’s length, or more. From Sky House (1958), his famous entry for the Kyoto International Conference Hall competition (1963) and Tokoen Hotel (1964) to Aquapolis (1975), a pavillon for the International Ocean Exposition in Okinawa, they rise, off teh ground or the water, as the case my be.

In the case of Edo Tokyo Museum, a vast open space is created underneath the building: the so-called Edo-Tokyo Plaza. The plaza, which has an area of 18’800 square meters, can be accessed from the west, north and east sides, and from it visitors take an escalator, either up to the main exhibition area (a double-height space) in the elevated superstructure below the plaza.


Name: Edo Toyko Museum │Type: Museum│Architect: Kiyonori Kikutake│Completed: 1992

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