Yokohama’s modernist City Hall to be converted into hotel

A leading example of modernist architecture in downtown Yokohama will be preserved and incorporated into a large-scale office and hotel project.



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Bauhaus villa in Atami to undergo restoration

The former Hyuga Villa annex in Atami is about to undergo a two-year restoration starting this July. The Bauhaus-style annex was built in 1936 and was designed by Bruno Taut (1880-1938), a renowned German architect. This is the only building Taut designed in Japan. 

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Miyazaki metabolist hall to be demolished

The former Miyakonojo Civic Hall, a metabolist icon in Miyazaki Prefecture, is expected to be demolished sometime this year as hefty maintenance costs prove too high for city finances.

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Modernist house-turned-restaurant in Shirokane closes its doors

Located in a quiet and wealthy residential neighborhood just minutes from Shirokane sits a small and unassuming modernist house. Until late last year, this home was the Kamikozawa-tei shabu-shabu restaurant serving small groups of customers. 

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Kamakura modernist museum to re-open this June

After a lengthy refurbishment and retrofit, the former Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura, will officially re-open as the Kamakura Bunkakan Tsurugaoka Museum on June 8. The iconic modernist building was designed by Junzo Sakakura (1901-1969) and opened in 1951 as Japan’s first public museum of modern art.

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Modernist building in Yokohama to be demolished next month

One of Yokohama’s early examples of modernist architecture will soon be demolished. The Prefectural Police Headquarters Onoecho Government Building was built in 1952. The 3-story concrete building with a curved exterior, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and no front entrance is considered one of the city’s modernist masterpieces.

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Price reductions on two modernist homes this month

Two homes designed by two of Japan’s top modernist architects have had price reductions this month. Update: Both homes have since sold.

Meguro Bauhaus Masterpiece by Tsuchiura Kameki – SOLD

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Tsuchiura Kameki (1897-1996) started his career working for Frank Lloyd Wright in Wright’s Taliesin studio in Wisconsin in the 1920s. Tsuchiura’s earlier works were influenced by Wright’s style, but in the 1930s he shifted over to the Bauhaus style.

Located in a high-end residential neighbourhood between Meguro and Ebisu Stations, this home was designed by Tsuchiura as his own personal residence. This was the second residence he designed for himself and is regarded as one of his best surviving works and a pioneer of modern town housing. Tsuchiura lived in the house until his passing in 1996. Over the years he and his wife entertained many notable guests in the architecture world including greats such as Kunio Maekawa and Yoshio Taniguchi. The home even left a lasting impression on Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki who recalls being impressed by the modernity of the house when he visited it at an early age.

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Renewal of modernist theatre in Kyoto reaches completion

Rohm Theatre Kyoto 5

Construction and refurbishment of the 55-year old Kyoto Kaikan building finished earlier this month. The original hall was designed by leading modernist architect Kunio Maekawa (1905-1986) and built in 1960. However, theatre stages were too small and the building was not equipped for operas or ballet performances. The building’s condition was also starting to deteriorate.

Kyoto City spent 11 billion Yen refurbishing the South Hall which included preserving the Maekawa-designed exterior, while the Main Hall was completely rebuilt into a 6-storey hall with 2,005 seats.

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Iga City’s modernist government building may be saved from demolition

Junzo Sakakura Iga City 1

The 50-year old City Hall building in Iga City, Mie Prefecture, might just be saved from demolition after a building report suggested that repairing the structure may be cheaper than rebuilding it.

The city mayor has proposed restoring the south building and using it as a multi-purpose centre with library facilities. At a council meeting, however, concerns were raised about whether the building could be earthquake-retrofitted and how much it would cost to renovate it rather than destroy it.

Early estimates suggested that large-scale repairs and maintenance to the building could cost around 5.5 billion Yen (44.5 million USD).

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