|Togo Murano - Japan
World Peace Memorial Cathedral
4-29, Nobori-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima
original catholic cathedral in this location was destroyed in the
disastrous atomic bomb explosion in 1945. A design competition was launched in
to find an architect for its replacement. A total of 177 designs
were submitted from well known Japanese architects such as Kenzo Tange and Kunio
Maekawa and others.
The competition finished without declaration of an overall winner. In
the end, Togo Murano, who was one of the jurors, designed the new World
Peace Memorial Cathedral.
Murano designed and completed many outständig works, representative for
contemporary Japanese architecture. The Memorial Cathedral, his first
major building after the war, is one of his finest designs. This
building is considered to be a modern building in general terms. It is
remarkable, that there are
many features or qualities in this building whiche relate to various
precedents in Western architecture. The volumetric treatment of the
influenced by Auguste Perret, in its appearance, the building shows
certain affinity with the Nordic or Scandinavian National Romanticism.
On the oter side the inclusion of a circular dome
over the sanctuary and small cylindrical chapels on either side of the
main volume remember
the Byzantine architecture. The post-and-beam
concrete frame with internal panels is reminiscent of traditional Japanese architecture as are the shapes
of the windows penetrating the
tower. The brick infills in this case were made from earth containing
ashes of the burnt city from the atomic bomb and are laid so
that their rough surfaces
cast shadows across the facade. The facade is animated by the interplay
of light and shadow as well as the feeling for the materials.
sculptures above the main door were designed by the Architect Kenji Imai. The powerful Romanesque-like interior is emphasized by a spectrum of subdued light.
This Building is registered by DoCoMoMo-Japan as one of the 100 best
representatives of modern architecture in Japan, and the is considered
to be on of the most important
landmarks in Hiroshima. The Peace Memorial Cahtedral became a seminal
work for Togo Murano. After completing this building, he undertook
several projects of
buildings and converted to Catholicism later in life. The construction
system of concrete beams and brick infills later became much used by
for example in the Yonago Public Hall, the Yokohama City Hall, the
Round Library at Kansai University and the Department of Literature
Building at the Waseda University.