1987 – TIT Centennial Hall – Kazuo Shinohara

The Centennial Hall was founded as part of the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s 100th anniversary celebrations. From the very beginning of the planning process, the location of the building was of great concern, and many serious discussion were held on possible positions before the current site was agreed upon. No matter how many times the proposed site changed, the designer, Kazuo Shinohara (then professor at the TIT), had in mind a specific image of the building: a cylindrical metallic surface gleaming above the grove.

Shinohara posessed a singular architectural vision, akin to philosopher of science in pursuit of an ideal that would remain unaffected by the passing of time and changing of fashion. The founding of the Centennial Hall was to showcase the coexistance of the two contradictions – beauty and chaos – in a real urban location. Shinohara later said that, understanding the inherent risk, he felt full of tension throughout the whole design process; the building might have falle into the real of the grotesque with the slightest mistake.

Despite his anexiety, the completed building acquired a great reputation and can be recognized as one of the best architectural achievements of the 20th century.

Name: TIT Centennial Hall │Type: Education│Architect: Kazuo Shinohara│Completed: 1987


1976 – House in Uehara – Kazuo Shinohara

This house is located in Uehara, a well-to-do suburb of Tokyo less than half an hour from the city’s financial district. Consequently, the Uehara lot is quite small and the dwelling itself is some 9 metres on one side with no garden, while the main façade and carport give directly onto the narrow road. The client was an art photographer and the ground floor comprises his studio with a darkroom.

The upper storey is composed principally of the standard Japanese living-dining-kitchen space, although the kitchen and stair areas are partially screened by a massive articulated concrete pillar. This monolith burgeons with great struts rising to support the beamless concrete flat-slab roof and is part of a giant forest-like order whose tops are imposed and revealed throughout the residential storey.

Name: House in Uehara│Type: residential│Architect: Kazuo Shinohara │Completed: 1976