1969 – Japan Lutheran Theological Seminary – Togo Murano

The present compound designed by Murano actually replaced smaller, earlier wooden facilities of the seminary. One of the leading theological study centers in Japan and the training ground for many eminent religious leaders, the Lutheran Theological Seminary formerly occupied a site in another of Tokyo’s residential areas. Yet as the buildings grew old and the school outgrew the site, it became necessary to seek more spacious grounds. The new site was selected within a grove of beautiful mature trees near International Christian Uni-versity in Mitaka, a quiet Tokyo suburb.

At the request of the seminary the buildings — faculty residences, student dormitories, classrooms, library, and chapel — were all designed and completed in con-secutive stages. Despite this, Murano succeeded in creating an attractively unified composition that radiates a strong religious mood as well as the vitality of active student life. Because the Japan Theological Center occupies a neighboring site, the main entrance to the Lutheran campus was located on the west side to facilitate exchanges among the students of the two institutions.

To achieve a blend of religious symbolism and active student life in the building’s architectural expression, the designer found the lectures of the noted American priest and architect of religious buildings E. A. Sövik very helpful. Murano was also influenced by the sculp-tural forms and somewhat romantic architecture of Morse and Stiles Colleges at Yale University (1962) in New Haven, Connecticut, by Eero Saarinen.

Five residences and one guest house on the south-ern end of the site face the faculty apartments; the approaching path leads through a landscaped and grassy area with flower beds. The location, plan, and window placement of every building are designed to guarantee maximum privacy for each unit while taking into careful consideration functional efficiency. At the same time, the modulated masses of the building groups, complemented by the soft visual quality of their spray-stucco-covered walls, assures a highly successful response to the rich natural surroundings.

The exten-sive light-and-shadow effects created by the solid wall masses, together with the texture of their surfaces, impart a mood of serenity that characterizes the archi-tecture of the campus. This mood, coupled with a feeling of solemnity, reaches its epitome in the intri-cately lit interior of the small chapel.

Name: Japan Lutheran Theological Seminary│Type: Education│Architect: Togo Murano│Completed: 1969

Literature: Togo Murano: master architect of Japan by Botond Bognar; with an introd. by Fumihiko Maki, New York, 1996.


1968 – Library Tokyo Keizai University – Azusa Kito

In 2014, the building was converted to an auditorium. Originally it was a library, designed by Azusa Kito in 1968. The library was organized as one large open space. The first floor has 40m x 40m square space with no columns and it is opening to forest through glasses. Unfortunately, the conversion of the building destroyed the clarity of its original architecture. Still remarkable are the polygonally shaped concrete columns. The building is registered by DoCoMoMo Japan as one of the 200 best representatives of modern architecture in Japan.

Name: Library Tokyo Keizai University│Type: Education│Architect: Azusa Kito│Completed: 1961



1966 – Tokagakudo Music Hall – Kenji Imai

The Tokagakudo building is a music hall designed by architect Kenji Imai. The building is an octagon; the shape of its figures clematis petals and every outer wall of the octagon is covered with patterns of large flying birds an nature symbols as sun, moon or stars made in mosaic. The architecture is contradictory to the Metabolist-movement at the time of its completition in the 60s.

Name: Tokagakudo Music Hall│Type: Concert Hall│Architect: Kenji Imai│Completed: 1966


1961 – Tokyo Metropolitan Festival Hall – Kunio Maekawa

The Tokyo Metropolitan Festival Hall, built in Ueno Park by Kunio Maekawa (1905 – 86) in 1961, responds in almost every possible way to Le Corbusier, for whom Maekawa had worked from 1928 to 1930. In its variety of features and finishes not only does it recall Chandigarh, La Tourette and even Ronchamp, it also adresses Le Corbusier’s own National Museum of Western Art (1959) across the road. The large building contains two auditoria, the smaller one square, with the stage placed in one corner and the seating on the diagonal, and the larger one, the concert hall, with a horeshoe-plan and galleries reaching around the side.

Name: Tokyo Metropolitan Festival Hall│Type: Concert Hall│Architect: Kunio Maekawa│Completed: 1961


1969 – Yasuyo Building – Nobumichi Akashi

This unusual, narrow commercial building resembling a stack of twisted bolts stands right next to the eastern entrance of Shinjuku Station and is famous for Kakiden, a long-established restaurant which occupies the 6th to the 9th floors and has interiors designed by Yoshiro Taniguchi. Kokin Salons is on the 6th floor, Yasuyo Hall on the 7th, and there are more guestrooms with Western-style tables and chairs on the floor above. The building’s top floor is furnished in the traditional Japanese style: two of the three rooms are 12 and 10 tatami in size, while the third is of more intimate proportions. Part of the kaiseki restaurant on the basement floor is an art gallery. Architect Nobumichi Akashi described his design for this building as anchored solely in the fast pace of Tokyo and in the present moment.

Name: Yasuyo Building│Type: Commercial│Architect: Nobumichi Akashi│Completed: 1969


1969 – National Museum of Modern Art – Yoshiro Taniguchi


The Museum, just a few steps from the Palace Side Building, faces the moat and stone rampart of the Imperial Palace compound across the road. This close proximity promoted Yoshiro Taniguchi to make the design as simple as possible. The horizontal volume is elevated above a raised platform with only a few windows. Inside, however, the spaces are richly articulated follwing a skip-floor system.

Name: National Museum of Modern Art│Type: Museum│Architect: Yoshiro Taniguchi│Completed: 1969


1967 – Shizuoka Tower – Kenzo Tange

Built in the Ginza district, the Shizuoka Tower gave Tange a chance to materialize his Metabolist ideals, which called for a new urban typology that could self perpetuate in an organic, vernacular, “metabolic” manner. The narrow, 189 square-meter, triangular site inspired Tange to design a vertical structure, consisting of a main infrastructural core, which could develop into an urban megastructure, into which an ever-growing number of prefabricated capsules could be “plugged-in.”

The infrastructural core was a 7.7 meter diameter cylinder, reaching a height of 57 meters, containing stairs, two elevators, and a kitchen and sanitary facilities on each floor. The core served as an access shaft to the modular office units: cantilever glass and steel boxes of 3.5 meters which punctuated the main core on alternating sides. A total of thirteen individual offices were arranged in five groups of two or three modules connected asymmetrically to the central beam. Balconies formed in the gaps between the clusters, allowing for future units to potentially be “plugged-in,” an idea which never materialized. The structure today has the same amount of units as when first erected in 1967, and so Tange’s Metabolist vision for a perpetually regenerating, prefabricated urban megastructure was never fulfilled.

Name: Shizuoka Tower│Type: Office│Architect: Kenzo Tange│Completed: 1967


1969 – Ichiban-kan – Minoru Takeyama

1969 - Ichiban-kan - Minoru Takeyama

















In the late 60s, architect Minoru Takeyama designed this reinforced concrete volume, shaped with an unusually dynamic, although still abstract geometry and formative black-white painting. The iconographic building reflects the festive and superficial charactre of its urban context.

Name: Ichiban-kan│Type: Entertainment│Architect: Minoru Takeyama│Completed: 1969


1968 – Friends School (Furendo Gakuen) – Hiroshi Oe

The Friends School is the only Quaker school in Japan. Today it is a high school for 800 girls. The pleasant and welcoming modernist architecture by Hiroshi Oe consists of a skillful combination of rough brick and painted white concrete. Important elements are the inviting and light verandas on the south facade. The building is registered as one of the 100 best representatives of modern architecture in Japan.

Name: Friends School (Furendo Gakuen)│Type: Education│Architect: Hiroshi Oe│Completed: 1968


1967 – Yukari Bunka Kindergarten – Kenzo Tange

In 1967, Yukari Bunka Kindergarten by Kenzo Tange was established. The architect choose  the spatial dimension to be comfortable to the children’s scale. The plan of the kindergarten has a radial arrangement. Each roof unit has in a strict sense a shape of a cone rather than a circular cylinder. In the original design the roof was to consist of prefabricated prestressed members. It was found, however, that some parts of the streets connecting the factory and the building site were too narrow to accommodate transportation of the prefabricated roof units. Therefore, we decided to “prefabricate” them in the site.

Name: Yukari Bunka Kindergarten│Type: Education│Architect: Kenzo Tange│Completed: 1967