Kisho Kurokawa



Architect, philosopher, writer and in recent times also politician – he ran, without success, for governor of Tokyo and for the Japanese Senate –, Kisho Kurokawa died a few months after finishing his last great work, the National Art Center in Tokyo. Born in Nagoya, Kurokawa studied architecture at Kyoto University and earned his doctorate in that of Tokyo under Kenzo Tange, the driving force behind the Modern Movement in Japan. He became part of the Metabolists, a group that envisaged buildings and cities as organisms built out of flexible and extendable structures. The Nakagin Capsule Building (1972) is an icon of this movement: a double tower of 140 prefabricated cubicles piled up around two vertical communication cores, and which is now under threat of demolition due to its bad state of preservation. Amongst his more than one hundred projects, the most noteworthy are the Sony Tower in Osaka (1976), recently demolished, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (1998) and the master plan for Astana, the new capital of Kazakhstan (1998). His theoretical writings are gathered in Architecture of Symbiosis (1987).

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