Test your design IQ
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - February 15, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Who is the 20th-century Japanese architect considered the father of Modern Japanese architecture best-known for the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan?

He was born in 1905 in the Niigata Prefecture in Japan. His family lived in a wooden house in the snow country of Niigata before moving to Tokyo’s Hongo district.

He graduated with a degree in architecture from the University of Tokyo in 1928 and trained with Le Corbusier in Paris until 1930 and with Antonin Raymond, a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright in Tokyo until 1935. 

Considered the father of modern Japanese architecture, he developed a keen understanding of the international style while working as a member of his atelier.

He established his own private practice in 1935 with architects Makoto Tanaka, Terashima Dotaro, and Osaburo Sakitani.  Among their earliest projects were the Hinomoto Hall of 1936 and his 1937 design for the Memorial Hall to the founding of the nation competition.

He came to maturity with his first major work in reinforced concrete construction, the Nihon Sogo Bank, built in downtown Tokyo in 1952. It was followed by a block of flats in the Harumi district in 1956. With the Harumi Flats, he successfully integrated Western and Japanese domestic traditions, the living spaces of flats being divided equally between dining areas with chairs and rooms furnished with tatami mats.

Among his groundbreaking works are the Kyoto Cultural Hall (1958-60) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Hall (1958-61), the Steel Pavilion in the Osaka Expo in 1970,  the City Museum of Fukuoka (1979), the Prefectural Museum in Miyagi in 1980, the Concert Hall in Kunitachi College in 1983.

He received numerous awards for his work: six prizes from the Architectural Institute of Japan from 1953-66, the 1962 Asahi Prize, the 1963 U(IA Auguste Perret Award, the Grand Prize of the Architectural Institute of Japan in 1968, the Mainichi Art Prize in 1972.  He was decorated with the Officier de l’Ordre National du Merite from France in 1978.

He died on June 16, 1986.

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Last week’s question: Who is the Basque chef whose restaurants hold six Michelin stars, more than any other Spanish chef?

Answer: Martin Berastegui

Winner: Raymund Escasa of Mandalyong City

Text your answer to 0915-6486414 with your name and address. One winner will be chosen through a raffle of texts with the correct answer. The winner will receive P2,000 worth of SM gift certificates for use at Our Home, SM Department Store, or SM Supermarket. They can claim their prize at Our Home in SM Megamall. Call the store manager at 634-1943. Bring photocopies of two valid IDs and a clipping of the Design Quiz issue in which you appear as winner.

ANTONIN RAYMOND ARCHITECTURAL INSTITUTE OF JAPAN ASAHI PRIZE AUGUSTE PERRET AWARD CITY MUSEUM OF FUKUOKA CONCERT HALL DEPARTMENT STORE DESIGN QUIZ FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT OUR HOME
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