St.Mary’s Cathedral, K.Tange, 東京カテドラル聖マリア大聖堂 1964 – Gokokuji temple, Kannon-Dou 1697


Today rain stopped to fall thus I took the chance to visit the Gokokuji temple which is one of the oldest Buddhist temple in Town. Since the Cathedral disegned by Tange was not far we walked about 25 minutes and we got also to the St.Mary’s Cathedral. Last time I was there it was January the 2nd 2011 and it was closed, so I learned that january the 2nd is one of the few days of the year I do not suggest you to go there.

Here I found a detailed description in english of the building . The worst thing inside, is the copy of the famous statue by Michelangelo “Pietà” which has been placed there.

Because the building is very famous, you can find information and pictures everywhere, here a good frontal shot. If you like the kind of shot that italians call “scorcio” you may want to look at mine as well.
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On the other side you can shift in other japanese interest in this well equipped blog.

Here below the video I shooted today around  16.00. Light is very important in the Design Concept here as in many other new churches in Japan. It is so important that one may called the japanese architects “light fetishistes”

Here the outside

Komazawa Olympic Park 駒沢オリンピック公園 – Yoshinobu Ashihara 芦原義信


I checked something that was constructed for Tokyo Olympic Games back in 1964 since Tokyo candidates itself again for the 2020 Olympic competition against Instanbul, the most likely winner and another city I don’t remember which one, sorry. Truly this place was the second choice after the first which is at Yoyogi Park, more central than this, and with its famous arena (yoyogi stadium) designed by K.Tange and it’ll be soon in this blog .

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The Komazawa Olympic Park (link to the official web site) is really a park for sport-like-guys. The round pathway is divided in three, with one for bicycle with large light blue edges, one central bounded with yellow stripes for runners, and a normal one for walkers and so on, no cars are allowed I guess.  This is the japanese name for reserved bicycle path (自転車専用道路). You have to be careful of those tracks if you don’t want to get hurt, and it was a weekday, I don’t imagine how many are in the coming sunny Sundays!

Another valuable feature, not rare in Tokyo, it was particularly well organized, it’s the possibility to rent a bicycle. You have 4 options, displayed in 3 different spots, near to each others. There’s one for adult and toddlers I would say, one for kids until 3 years old where the track is a big round circle with benches on the shadow and it costs only 100 yen for hour. Another one for children above until 6 years of age with its own protected pathway. Then there’s a family one with 4 seats tandem available. Least there are even three play-gounds spot!.

On the Architectural side I may say this is a concrete fair, symbolized with this central pagoda like symbol (it is called “Control Tower”), in front of a long square in the barycentric position of the park.

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I assume the most known building is the next, which is for athletic sports or I would call the main Arena.

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Later I have seen a building either with some lack of maintenance  or signs of age. Generally all the construction were harmonic within the others, and the Use of them seemed to be far to be dismissed. I have to apologize because I did not enter in any of them.  They all reckon with their Architectural era, and they surely belong to that post second war time.

Other links referring to this Olympic park, here is the one of the Architect Tsuchiya Hiroshi who says that the Gymnasyum has been designed by Yoshinobu Ashirara (芦原義信). If you click on the english name you open your website which has also pictures of the interior. Here an article with historical references about the whole “olympic project “.

Another link  says Ashihara designed also the “Concrete Pagoda” and the square below.

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Another link from a japanese amateur runner, who called this park a sacred place for runner and publish his time on the lap! He wrote also the park was opened July the 23th of 1964, it may be inaugurated on that date, I think.

Another link  says the larger path is about 2,1 Km long and there are some nice pictures about Sakura over there.

We are going to get in touch with mr Ashihara for other mayor projects he did in Tokyo. This link leads to the Stadium Gallery. Unlike here there are many reviews from visitors all of ethnicities. This  last is the link for the runners

Here below other shoots from the Park to get the atmosphere of a Spring sunny day (I guess yesterday  we were around 30 °C)

Sunwell Gallery – Tsutomu Hasegawa Takato Tamagami and Be-Fun


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We were going to se the exibhition in the GA gallery, featuring architectural models of house project published in the last number of the magazine (Global Architecture), included an astonishing  and controversial project by Ando.

We came acroos this other Gallary with its attractive design, completed in 2008.

Here is the link to more photograph of the interior and drawings , and here the link of the Company. Here the link to Be fun Design, Here the link to Takato Tamagami web site.

also here another link to the magazine Design boom which is featuring an excellet job done by Tamagami for a new bakery , patisserie.

Todofuken Palace, 都道府県会館 Chyoda-ku


IMGP5879I decided to enter inside this building because I was thinking it was an Hotel, actually the Grand Prince Hotel Akasakai. After taking some pictures and using the toilet where it might was forbidden, I asked to a man inside the elevator where I was showing my map.

The Hotel was further straight along the road he pointed to my map. Later I will be discovered it was not there anymore, since a huge building site was just in the supposed exact spot the map was indicating. I was inside the Palace of ALL the prefectures of Japan, the Toudofuken Kaikan (都道府県会館).

A link says the project is from Nikken Sekkei which is one of the larger constructor of Japan, by the way they constructed also the recent opened sparkling highest tower of japan, the Sky Tree.

Another link from the japanese Association of architects refers to mr.Hiroshi Okada, which is probably one of the Nikken Sekkei architects or engineers.

For the Public Administration purpose my opinion is that this building fulfils perfectly the function with good government style. I liked the false ceiling grid in the outside that looked well in the details even when you are walking close. Since I am not sure of the information I was able to collect I have wariness about the date of 1999 as accomplishment of works. To me a building like that would have been probably born quite earlier in a different architectural era, especially for the interior style, which let me think more to the 50ies or early 60’s. I wish somebody can correct this.  There also something about this particular modular option

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that decors the skin of this building that is inherent to Japan it might been already written somewhere.

Here below some others pictures, particularly the interior was very unexpected to me.

Toshi Center Hotel 東市センターホテル


One day I went in a place in Tokyo for the first time, it was around Kojimachi station. There were meny interesting building, and I saw a kind of relative common style in that area. It maybe because there were built in the same period. I will post some of them sooner or later.

This building kept my eye because its proportion was well done I have thought and also was different form the others.

It is an hotel (here is the official link), and probably some business center – (kaikan) plenty of Conference Room for convention. Some foreigners also were standing at the door. In this post there are two different buildings, as you can see, and they seems to me both from outside of Japan, probably American. An old New-Classic Facade for instance reminds me several buildings in New York City.

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In this link I found it has been finished in 1999 but there is no indication about the architect. The nearby area is filled with Pubblic administration offices (the House of Representatives is just 5 minutes walk) and all sort of party-main offices. Even the todofuken palace is there (all the provinces and region of Japan), and that is going to be the object of a futuIMGP5867re post.IMGP5870

 

 

 

 

 

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