Tokyo City to demolish Kunio Maekawa-designed clubhouse

The Tokyo metropolitan government plans to demolish the Fujimigaoka Clubhouse in Suginami-ku within this financial year.

The 200 sqm, 2-storey wooden structure was built in 1954 as the clubhouse for the former NHK sports grounds. It was designed by Kunio Maekawa – one of Japan’s great modernist architects.

Suginami-ku had leased the grounds from NHK from 2007 until May 2015, and used the clubhouse as the management office. Tokyo City acquired the 10.9 hectare property from NHK between 2012 ~ 2014, and are preparing to turn it into a public park. Unfortunately the city has decided that the clubhouse must be demolished to make way for the new park.

Suginami-ku may soon have powers to forcibly widen roads

Setagaya Road setback

The local government in Suginami-ku, Tokyo, is considering amending local regulations which would give them the powers to carry out the road widening and street levelling on privately owned setback land. If the plans are approved, this would be the first local government in Japan to have these legal powers.

Approximately 30% of the roads in Suginami are less than 4 meters wide and pose a hazard to the local community in the event of a disaster, such as an earthquake, as emergency vehicles cannot navigate the narrow roads and lane ways. 

Under the Building Standards Act, owners of buildings that front onto a road less than 4m wide are required to shorten their block land in order to widen the road when the building is redeveloped.

Suginami’s local government currently provide financial assistance to help owners with the cost of removing any obstacles such as walls and gates in order to complete the required setback.  Although landowners are required to make the setback portion of land level with the road, many owners leave the raised curbing as is with garden beds and other objects still blocking vehicle access.

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