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Test your design IQ

(The Philippine Star) - March 8, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -Who is the 20th century Japanese architect whose range of work includes simple wooden structures during prewar years to large terminal buildings in Osaka and Tokyo, and architectural landmarks like the Museum of Modern Art in Kamakura?

He was born in 1901 in Hashima-gun in the Gifu prefecture and entered the Art History Department of the Tokyo Imperial University in 1923, where he became interested in architecture.

Traveling to France in 1929 to study architectural construction, he joined the atelier of Le Corbusier in 1931 where he participated in urban planning projects and the design of private houses.

After returning to Japan in 1936, he journeyed to France again to design the Japanese Pavilion at the 1937 Paris Exposition of Art and Technology, which received the architectural Grand Prix in 1937,  gaining him worldwide recognition.

In 1940, he established his office where he completed more than 300 works until his death in 1969 at the age of 68.  These include simple wooden prefab structures built during the war years to large terminal buildings in Osaka and Tokyo, and architectural landmarks like the 1951 Museum of Modern Art, and L’Institut Franco Japonais de Tokyo

His range of work includes furniture like the Bamboo Chair, which received an honorable mention in the International Competition for Low Cost Furniture Design by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Among his notable works are the Museum of Modern Art on the grounds of the Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine in Kamakura. The building comprises a second-story white box containing the gallery spaces supported on thin steel red and green piloti. The ground floor faces the lake is built with oya stone.

The International House of Japan, on the other hand, is a cultural exchange building in Roppongi, Tokyo. It is primarily constructed of in-situ reinforced concrete with the public areas of the building faced with Oya Stone. The building went on to win the annual design award from the Nihon Kenchiku Gakkai.

He was also one of three architects of Le Corbusier’s only building in Japan, the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo.  

One of the grandest urban design projects he undertook was the West Plaza of the Shinjuku Station in Tokyo in 1967.  This is a two-story urban plaza incorporating the bus terminal.  Two huge ramps at the center allow taxi access from the ground level to Shinjuku Sation’s west exit.

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Last week’s question: What is the name of this cathedral in Moscow?

Answer: Cathedral of Christ the Savior

Winner: Anna Euzzia Ventura of Plaridel, Bulacan

ANNA EUZZIA VENTURA OF PLARIDEL ART ART HISTORY DEPARTMENT BAMBOO CHAIR CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST THE SAVIOR GRAND PRIX INSTITUT FRANCO JAPONAIS LE CORBUSIER MUSEUM OF MODERN ART OSAKA AND TOKYO
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