Kenzo Tange´s Yamanashi Culture HallFrom NYTimes magazine on line:
“Metabolism, the City of the Future: Dreams and Visions of Reconstruction in Postwar and Present-Day Japan” (September 17, 2011 – January 15, 2012) was a sprawling introduction to the Metabolism architecture movement of the 1960s and ’70s. It was the first exhibition organized at the Mori Art Museum (one of Tokyo’s two most prominent contemporary art institutions) since the March 2011 disaster, and as such illustrated an avant-garde yet pervasive facet of the country’s long history of building and rebuilding. The Metabolism Group was founded in 1960 (some of its members are still at work today) on the belief that architecture should emulate organic life and allow for continual growth and change. Sustainability and scale were paramount and they channeled these values not through a lens of austerity but of sci-fi dreams.
The projects chronicled in the exhibition attempted to express harmony with much more rhetorical purity. Many of the most fantastic plans were drafted in the 1960s and never realized. Kenzo Tange’s “A Plan for Tokyo” (1960) proposed an entire city be erected over Tokyo Bay. Another project suggested building contiguously between Tokyo and Osaka so that the two cities would become an uninterrupted megalopolis: the island of Japan imagined as a body and the new mega-city as its essential hub. Arata Isozaki’s “Shinjuku Project: City in the Air” (1961) and “Shibuya Project: City in the Air” (1962) used the Metabolist trope of vertical, cylindrical, central “cores” to access a complex of units built high in the air. It’s likely that many of the projects that were indeed built during this time, like Kiyonori Kikutake’s Hotel Tokoen (1965) and Miyakonojo Civic Center (1966), were funded because they somewhat inverted outsize Metabolist ambitions by collapsing the logic of an entire city into the design of a single building. Metabolism reached a fever pitch around the Expo ’70 in Osaka, where Tange masterminded a model city showcasing all the movement’s most colorful dynamics for a worldwide audience that extended far beyond connoisseurs of architecture.¨
Installation of a kitchen at the Mori Art Museum.
Arata Isozaki´s city in the air (Shibuya Project)
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All pictures downloaded from the article at the NYTimes magazine.