Toyo Ito, T building, back in the 90ies


These pictures are two years old. I was seeking for it on the map, following a book rented from my town pubblic library about japanese architecture. The chapter about Tokyo was quite big. The building on this shot is projected by Toyo Ito and somehow watching those pictures again it seems the efforts to find it are worth.

It is called T building, here the link at the Ito`s official web site. It is reachable from daykanyama, then go to the left down to the river, cross the river, and ….sory I don`have the book with me anymore…I am sure somewhere the adress is known. (here somelinks 1, 2, 3

It is an office building. They let me in and get some pictures also of the interior. By those days it might be innovative as well. It was finished in May 1990.


GAP shop, probably not same facade anymore

I recall this was beautiful to me when I first came in Tokyo.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbut as the rules of the business here they have to renovate every so often that they decied to let it go. Nowadays is a long transpraten glass that shows

spinning dummies in every floor. I prefer this old one, designed by Curiosity I guess, but I am not sure.


Tokyo Bunkyo Myogadani Aikido Bunkyo Sports Center by Otani Yukio, 大谷 辛夫 , 東京都文京茗荷谷合気道文京スポーツセンター

IMGP0963It was summer, hot and open swimming pool are not so many as expected in Tokyo. My so, also was still wearing diapers so they will stop Us to bath immediately if we have dared to enter.

We grab the opportunity to go to a little park, near Myogdani, were an open lake, sort of artificial pool has maden nearby an indoor one.

I found the architecture interesting. For sure it is back in the 70ies or even more ( a concrete fair indeed, the clock speaks for all). The people at the desk were gentle, even if the pool is reserved of the citizens of Bunkyo ward, they would not control your ID if you do not show it.

Although only complaints are written I found this blog with some information here. He postulate Otani was a disceple of K.Tange.

Not so much I found about the architect, here another building featured in Kyoto (Kyoto International Conference Center) by him. In another old post

by another blooger there are some more enthusiastic comments about this work in Kyoto. The blogger proclaim the design inspired G.Lucas for Star wars!Check it out.

HEre below some others details of ths Sports Center.

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Asakusa, new landmark, Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center by Kengo Kuma

IMGP0754It was my inlaw`s birthday, two years ago. I was almost thinking of havinglost this shot. Despite I have not published yet a single post about K.Kuma, my first days here in Tokyo were spent in looking for his works and the Shigeru Ban ones.

This building has rised the level of the pubblic intervention in this crowded area of TOkyo, well known since it is in every guide tour.

It is called the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center and this article is plenty of information and even floor plan and elevations.

As you might already know, putting something like that, which I assure you by proximity is more beatiful than it looks from the pictures, the surroundings are elevated to another level, and whatever intervention will be hosted nearby, it surely needs a sort of confrontation with this landmark. This is one of the most positive consequences of hiring a giant like Kuma to design a building in a central position of your town.

Here is the link from the architectural firm itself with a short list of 6 articles that are writing about it.

Here below some views from the last floor where is located a nice Cafe` bistrot.

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Is this the centre of Tokyo ? Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower – モード学園コクーンタワー

IMGP9432Sometime I feel it is a personal decision to assign the term of “Centre” to a city to a precise spot whether there is an established place or not.

In Italy is rather already been decided by the Romans, about 2000 years ago, when they  built their cities with the same manner. They to tracked on the ground a main intersection between two axes and from there the city around, there are no doubt about it. Often this was nearby a river.
That is why an Italian abroad is always seeking for the centre of the town, as if were the Romans have built the whole world!
This is not the case of Tokyo and many other cities .

After almost two years of living here, I think Shinjuku is the district that englobe the sheer magnitude of Tokyo. Among the spectacular things everybody can admire, the Cocoon is the most perfect one, like an ancient  stele in a Public square, where everybody has to pass by sooner or later.

Here the wikipedia voice, meanwhile the japanese one has some others interesting pictures.

Tange associates is the designer, and from the book I already talked here, I guess Tange`s son has played a big role in it.

Shinjuku will amazing you. I am planning some more posts about it.

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