Thu . 20 Jan 2020
TR | RU | UK | KK | BE |

Metabolism (architecture)

metabolism (architecture), metabolism architecture style
Metabolism 新陳代謝, shinchintaisha was a post-war Japanese architectural movement that fused ideas about architectural megastructures with those of organic biological growth It had its first international exposure during CIAM's 1959 meeting and its ideas were tentatively tested by students from Kenzo Tange's MIT studio

During the preparation for the 1960 Tōkyō World Design Conference a group of young architects and designers, including Kiyonori Kikutake, Kisho Kurokawa and Fumihiko Maki prepared the publication of the Metabolism manifesto They were influenced by a wide variety of sources including Marxist theories and biological processes Their manifesto was a series of four essays entitled: Ocean City, Space City, Towards Group Form, and Material and Man, and it also included designs for vast cities that floated on the oceans and plug-in capsule towers that could incorporate organic growth Although the World Design Conference gave the Metabolists exposure on the international stage their ideas remained largely theoretical

Some smaller, individual buildings that employed the principles of Metabolism were built and these included Tange's Yamanashi Press and Broadcaster Centre and Kurokawa's Nakagin Capsule Tower The greatest concentration of their work was to be found at the 1970 World Exposition in Osaka where Tange was responsible for master planning the whole site whilst Kikutake and Kurokawa designed pavilions After the 1973 oil crisis, the Metabolists turned their attention away from Japan and toward Africa and the Middle East


  • 1 Origins of Metabolism
  • 2 Tōkyō World Design Conference, 1960
    • 21 The Metabolism name
  • 3 The Metabolism manifesto
    • 31 Ocean City
    • 32 Space City
    • 33 Towards the Group Form
    • 34 Material and Man
  • 4 Plan for Tōkyō, 1960–2025
  • 5 Selected built projects
    • 51 Yamanashi Press and Broadcaster Centre
    • 52 Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Tower
    • 53 Nakagin Capsule Tower
    • 54 Hillside Terrace, Tōkyō
  • 6 Metabolism in context
  • 7 Osaka Expo, 1970
  • 8 Later years
  • 9 Footnotes
  • 10 References
  • 11 Further reading

Origins of Metabolismedit

The Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne CIAM was founded in Switzerland in 1928 as an association of architects who wanted to advance modernism into an international setting During the early 1930s they promoted the idea based upon new urban patterns in the United States that urban development should be guided by CIAM's four functional categories of: dwelling, work, transportation, and recreation1 By the mid-1930s Le Corbusier and other architects had moulded CIAM into a pseudo-political party with the goal of promoting modern architecture to all This view gained some traction in the immediate post-war period when Le Corbusier and his colleagues began to design buildings in Chandigarh By the early 1950s it was felt that CIAM was losing its avant-garde edge so in 1954 a group of younger members called "Team 10" was formed This included the inner circle Dutch architects Jacob Bakema and Aldo van Eyck, Italian Giancarlo De Carlo, Greek Georges Candilis, the British architects Peter and Alison Smithson and the American Shadrach Woods The Team 10 architects introduced concepts like "human association", "cluster" and "mobility", with Bakema encouraging the combination of architecture and planning in urban design This was a rejection of CIAM's older four function mechanical approach and it would ultimately lead to the break-up and end of CIAM2

Kenzo Tange was invited to the CIAM '59 meeting of the association in Otterlo, Netherlands In what was to be the last meeting of CIAM he presented two theoretical projects by the architect Kiyonori Kikutake: the Tower-shaped City and Kikutake's own home, the Sky House This presentation exposed the fledgling Metabolist movement to its first international audience Like Team 10's "human association" concepts Metabolism too was exploring new concepts in urban design3

Tower-shaped City was a 300 metre tall tower that housed the infrastructure for an entire city It included transportation, services and a manufacturing plant for prefabricated houses The tower was vertical "artificial land" onto which steel, pre-fabricated dwelling capsules could be attached Kikutake proposed that these capsules would undergo self-renewal every fifty years and the city would grow organically like branches of a tree3

Constructed on a hillside, the Sky House is a platform supported on four concrete panels with a hyperbolic paraboloid shell roof It is a single space divided by storage units with the kitchen and bathroom on the outer edge4 These latter two were designed so that they could be moved to suit the use of the house - and indeed they have been moved and/or adjusted about seven times over the course of fifty years At one point a small children's room was attached to the bottom of main floor with a small child-sized access door between the two rooms5

After the meeting, Tange left for Massachusetts Institute of Technology to begin a four-month period as a visiting professor It is possible that based upon the reception of Kikutake's projects in Otterlo he decided to set the fifth year project as a design for a residential community of 25,000 inhabitants to be constructed on the water of Boston Bay6 Tange felt a natural desire to produce urban designs based upon a new prototype of design, one that could give a more human connection to super-scale cities He considered the idea of "major" and "minor" city structure and how this could grow in cycles like the trunk and leaves of a tree7

One of the seven projects produced by the students was a perfect example of his vision The project consisted of two primary residential structures each of which was triangular in section Lateral movement was provided by motorways and monorail, whilst vertical movement from the parking areas was via elevators There were open spaces within for community centres and every third level there were walkways along which were rows of family houses7 The project appeared to be based upon Tange's unrealised competition entry for the World Health Organisation headquarters in Geneva8 and both projects paved the way for his later project, "Plan for Tōkyō – 1960" Tange went on to present both the Boston Bay Project and the Tōkyō Plan at the Tōkyō World Design Conference9

Tōkyō World Design Conference, 1960edit

The conference had its roots with Isamu Konmochi and Sori Yanagi who were representatives of the Japanese Committee on the 1956 International Design Conference in Aspen, Colorado They suggested that rather than a four yearly conference in Aspen there should be a roving conference with Tōkyō as its first setting in 196010 Three Japanese institutional members were responsible for organising the conference, although after the Japan Industrial Design Association pulled out only the Japan Institute of Architects and the Japan Association of Advertising Arts were left In 1958 they formed a preparation committee led by Junzo Sakakura, Kunio Maekawa and Kenzo Tange As Tange had just accepted an invitation to be a visiting professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology he recommended his junior colleague Takashi Asada to replace him in the organisation of the conference programmes11

The young Asada invited two friends to help him: the architectural critic and former editor of the magazine Shinkenchiku, Noboru Kawazoe, and Kisho Kurokawa who was one of Tange's students In turn these two men scouted for more talented designers to help, including: the architects Masato Otaka and Kiyonori Kikutake and the designers Kenji Ekuan and Kiyoshi Awazu12 Kurokawa was selected because he had recently returned from an international student conference in the Soviet Union and was a student of the Marxist architectural theorist Uzo Nishiyama Ekuan was asked because of his recent participation in a seminar given by Konrad Wachsmann13 he arrived at the lecture on a YA-1 motorbike that he had newly designed for Yamaha14 and Otaka was a junior associate of Kunio Maekawa and had just completed the Harumi Apartment Building in Tōkyō Bay Fumihiko Maki, a former undergraduate student of Tange also joined the group whilst in Tōkyō on a travelling fellowship from the Graham Foundation1516

By day Asada canvassed politicians, business leaders and journalists for ideas, by night he met with his young friends to cultivate ideas Asada was staying at the Ryugetsu Ryokan in Asakusa, Tōkyō and he used it as a meeting place for progressive scholars, architects and artists He often invited people from other professions to give talks and one of these was the atomic physicist, Mitsuo Taketani Taketani was a scholar who was also interested in Marxist theory and he brought this along with his scientific theories to the group Taketani's three stage methodology for scientific research influenced Kikutake's own three stage theory: ka the general system, kata the abstract image and katachi the solution as built, which he used to summarise his own design process from a broad vision to a concrete architectural form17

The group also searched for architectural solutions to Japan's phenomenal urban expansion brought about by its economic growth and how this could be reconciled with its shortage of usable land They were inspired by examples of circular growth and renewal found in traditional Japanese architecture like the Ise Shrine and Katsura Detached Palace18 They worked in coffee shops and Tōkyō's International House to produce a compilation of their works that they could publish as a manifesto for the conference19

The conference ran from 11–16 May 1960 and had 227 guests, 84 of whom were international, including the architects Louis Kahn, Ralph Erskine, B V Doshi, Jean Prouvé, Paul Rudolph and Peter and Alison Smithson Japanese participants included Kunio Maekawa, Yoshinobu Ashihara and Kazuo Shinohara20

After his 13 May lecture, Louis Kahn was invited to Kikutake's Sky House and had a long conversation with a number of Japanese architects including the Metabolists He answered questions until after midnight with Maki acting as translator Kahn spoke of his universal approach to design and used his own Richards Medical Research Laboratories as an example of how new design solutions can be reached with new thinking about space and movement A number of the Metabolists were inspired by thisvague21

The Metabolism nameedit

Marine City sketch by Kikutake, 1958

Whilst discussing the organic nature of Kikutake's theoretical Marine City project, Kawazoe used the Japanese word shinchintaisha as being symbolic of the essential exchange of materials and energy between organisms and the exterior world literally metabolism in a biological sense The Japanese meaning of the word has a feeling of replacement of the old with the new and the group further interpreted this to be equivalent to the continuous renewal and organic growth of the city15 As the conference was to be a world conference, Kawazoe felt that they should use a more universal word and Kikutake looked up the definition of shinchintaisha in his Japanese-English dictionary The translation he found was the word Metabolism22

The Metabolism manifestoedit

Kikutake used a photo of Marina City to illustrate the idea of capsules plugged onto a central tower

The group's manifesto Metabolism: The Proposals for New Urbanism was published at the World Design Conference23 Two thousand copies of the 90 page book were printed and were sold for ¥500 by Kurokawa and Awazu at the entrance to the venue18 The manifesto opened with the following statement:

Metabolism is the name of the group, in which each member proposes further designs of our coming world through his concrete designs and illustrations We regard human society as a vital process - a continuous development from atom to nebula The reason why we use such a biological word, metabolism, is that we believe design and technology should be a denotation of human society We are not going to accept metabolism as a natural process, but try to encourage active metabolic development of our society through our proposals24

The publication included projects by each member but a third of the document was dedicated to work by Kikutake25 who contributed essays and illustrations on the "Ocean City" Kurokawa contributed "Space City", Kawazoe contributed "Material and Man" and Otaka and Maki wrote "Towards the Group Form"24 Awazu designed the booklet and Kawazoe's wife, Yasuko edited the layout26

Some of the projects included in the manifesto were subsequently displayed at the Museum of Modern Art's 1960 exhibition entitled Visionary Architecture and exposed the Japanese architects' work to a much wider international audience27

Unlike the more rigid membership structure of Team 10, the Metabolist's saw their movement as having organic form with the members being free to come and go, although the group had cohesion they saw themselves as individuals and their architecture reflected this28 This was especially true for Tange who remained a mentor for the group rather than an "official" member29

Ocean Cityedit

Kikutake's Ocean City is the first essay in the pamphlet It covered his two previously published projects "Tower-shaped City" and "Marine City" and included a new project "Ocean City" that was a combination of the first two The first two of these projects introduced the Metabolist's idea of "artificial land" as well as "major" and "minor" structure30 Kawazoe referred to "artificial land" in an article in the magazine Kindai Kenchiku in April 1960 In responding to the scarcity of land in large and expanding cities he proposed creating "artificial land" that would be composed of concrete slabs, oceans or walls onto which capsules could be plugged He said that the creation of this "artificial land" would allow people to use other land in a more natural way31

For Marine City, Kikutake proposed a city that would float free in the ocean and would be free of ties to a particular nation and therefore free from the threat of war The artificial ground of the city would house agriculture, industry and entertainment and the residential towers would descend into the ocean to a depth of 200 metres The city itself was not tied to the land and was free to float across the ocean and grow organically like an organism Once it became too aged for habitation it would sink itself32

Ocean City was a combination of both Tower-shaped City and Marine City It consisted of two rings that were tangent to one another, with housing on the inner ring and production on the outer one Administrative buildings were found at the tangent point The population would have been rigidly controlled at an upper limit of 500,000 Kikutake envisaged that the city would expand by multiplying itself as though it was undergoing cell division This enforced the Metabolist idea that the expansion of cities could be a biological process33

Space Cityedit

In his essay "Space City", Kurokawa introduced four projects: Neo-Tōkyō Plan, Wall City, Agricultural City and Mushroom-shaped house In contrast to Tange's linear Tōkyō City Bay Project, Kurokawa's Neo-Tōkyō Plan proposed that Tōkyō be decentralised and organised into cruciform patterns He arranged Bamboo-shaped Cities along these cruciforms but unlike Kikutake he kept the city towers lower than 31 metres to conform with Tōkyō's building code33 these height limits were not revised until 196834

The Wall City considered the problem of the ever expanding distance between the home and the workplace He proposed a wall-shaped city that could extend indefinitely Dwellings would be on one side of the wall and workplaces on the other The wall itself would contain transportation and services35

Surviving the Ise Bay Typhoon in 1959 inspired Kurokawa to design the Agricultural City It consisted of a grid-like city supported on 4 metre stilts above the ground36 The 500 metres square city sat on concrete slab that placed industry and infrastructure above agriculture and was an attempt to combine rural land and the city into one entity35 He envisaged that his Mushroom Houses would sprout through the slab of Agriculture City These houses were shrouded in a mushroom-like cap that was neither wall nor roof that enclosed a tea room and a living space36

Towards the Group Formedit

Maki and Otaka's essay on Group Form placed less emphasis on the megastructures of some of the other Metabolists and focused instead on a more flexible form of urban planning37 that could better accommodate rapid and unpredictable requirements of the city38

Otaka had first thought about the relationship between infrastructure and architecture in his 1949 graduation thesis and he continued to explore ideas about "artificial ground" during his work at Maekawa's office Likewise, during his travels abroad, Maki was impressed with the grouping and forms of vernacular buildings39 The project they included to illustrate their ideas was a scheme for the redevelopment of Shinjuku station which included retail, offices and entertainment on an artificial ground over the station37 Although Otaka's forms were heavy and sculptural and Maki's were lightweight with large spans, both contained the homogeneous clusters that were associated with group form38

Material and Manedit

Kawazoe contributed a brief essay entitled I want to be a sea-shell, I want to be a mold, I want to be a spirit The essay reflected Japan's cultural anguish after the Second World War and proposed the unity of man and nature40

Plan for Tōkyō, 1960–2025edit

Tokyo Bay Plan, project of the Metabolist and Structuralist movement, 1960 Kenzo Tange

On 1 January 1961 Kenzo Tange presented his new plan for Tōkyō Bay 1960 in a 45-minute television programme on NHK41 The design was a radical plan for the reorganization and expansion of the capital in order to cater for a population beyond 10 million42 The design was for a linear city that used a series of nine-kilometre modules that stretched 80 km across Tōkyō Bay from Ikebukuro in the north west to Kisarazu in the south east The perimeter of each of the modules was organised into three levels of looping highways, as Tange was adamant that an efficient communication system would be the key to modern living4142 The modules themselves were organised into building zones and transport hubs and included office, government administration and retail districts as well as a new Tōkyō train station and highway links to other parts of Tōkyō Residential areas were to be accommodated on parallel streets that ran perpendicular to the main linear axis and like the Boston Bay project, people would build their own houses within giant A-frame structures43

The project was designed by Tange and other members of his studio at Tōkyō University, including Kurokawa and Arata Isozaki Originally it was intended to publish the plan at the World Design Conference hence its "1960" title but it was delayed because the same members were working on the Conference organisation44 Tange received interest and support from a number of government agencies but the project was never built41 Tange went on to expand the idea of the linear city in 1964 with the Tōkaidō Megalopolis Plan This was an ambitious proposal to extend Tōkyō's linear city across the whole of the Tōkaidō region of Japan in order to re-distribute the population45

Both Kikutake and Kurokawa capitalised on the interest in Tange's 1960 plan by producing their own schemes for Tōkyō Kikutake's plan incorporated three elements both on the land and the sea and included a looped highway that connected all the prefectures around the bay Unlike Tange however its simple presentation graphics put many people off Kurokawa's plan consisted of helix-shaped megastructures floating inside cells that extended out across the bay Although the scheme's more convincing graphics were presented as part of a film the project was not built41

With Japan's property boom in the 1980s, both Tange and Kurokawa revisited their earlier ideas: Tange with his Tōkyō Plan 1986 and Kurokawa with his New Tōkyō Plan 2025 Both projects used land that had been reclaimed from the sea since the 1960s in combination with floating structures41

Selected built projectsedit

Yamanashi Press and Broadcaster Centreedit

The Yamanashi Press and Broadcaster Centre Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Tower Nakagin Capsule Tower Hillside Terrace

In 1961 Kenzo Tange received a commission from the Yamanashi News Group to design a new office in Kōfu As well as two news firms and a printing company the building needed to incorporate a cafeteria and shops at ground floor level to interface with the adjoining city It also needed to be flexible in its design to allow future expansion46

Tange organised the spaces of the three firms by function to allow them to share common facilities He stacked these functions vertically according to need, for example, the printing plant is on the ground floor to facilitate access to the street for loading and transportation He then took all the service functions including elevators, toilets and pipes and grouped them into 16 reinforced concrete cylindrical towers, each with an equal 5 metre diameter These he placed on a grid into which he inserted the functional group facilities and offices These inserted elements were conceived of as containers that were independent of the structure and could be arranged flexibly as required This conceived flexibility distinguished Tange's design from other architects' designs with open floor offices and service cores – such as Kahn's Richards Medical Research Laboratories Tange deliberately finished the cylindrical towers at different heights to imply that there was room for vertical expansion46

Although the building was expanded in 1974 as Tange had originally envisioned,47 it did not act as a catalyst for the expansion of the building into a megastructure across the rest of the city The building was criticised for forsaking the human use of the building in preference to the structure and adaptability48

Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Toweredit

In 1966 Tange designed the Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Tower in the Ginza district of Tōkyō This time using only a single core Tange arranged the offices as cantilevered steel and glass boxes The cantilever is emphasised by punctuating the three storey blocks with a single storey glazed balcony49 The concrete forms of the building were cast using aluminium formwork and the aluminium has been left on as a cladding50 Although conceived as a "core-type" system that was included in Tange's other city proposals, the tower stands alone and is robbed of other connections49

Nakagin Capsule Toweredit

The icon of Metabolism, Kurokawa's Nakagin Capsule Tower was erected in the Ginza district of Tōkyō in 1972 and completed in just 30 days51 Prefabricated in Shiga Prefecture in a factory that normally built shipping containers, it is constructed of 140 capsules plugged into two cores that are 11 and 13 stories in height The capsules contained the latest gadgets of the day and were built to house small offices and pieds-à-terre for Tōkyō salarymen52

The capsules are constructed of light steel welded trusses covered with steel sheeting mounted onto the reinforced concrete cores The capsules are 25 metres wide and four metres long with a 13 metre diameter window at one end The units originally contained a bed, storage cabinets, a bathroom, a colour television set, clock, refrigerator and air conditioner, although optional extras such as a stereo were available Although the capsules were designed with mass production in mind there was never a demand for them52 Nobuo Abe, was a senior manager, managing one of the design divisions on the construction of the Nakagin Capsule Tower

Since 1996 the tower has been listed as an architectural heritage by DoCoMoMo However, in 2007 the residents voted to tear the tower down and build a new 14-storey tower The tower still stands today and has approximately 15 people living inside Also with the pods that are still safe to live in and not falling apart inside, has become a hotel once again for a mere $30 American a night on average53

Hillside Terrace, Tōkyōedit

After the World Design Conference Maki began to distance himself from Metabolist movement, although his studies in Group Form continued to be of interest to the Metabolists23 In 1964 he published a booklet entitled Investigations in Collective Form in which he investigated three urban forms: Compositional-form, Megastructure and Group Form54 The Hillside Terrace is a series of projects commissioned by the Asakura family and undertaken in seven phases from 1967 to 1992 It includes residential, office and cultural buildings as well as the Royal Danish Embassy and is situated on both sides of Kyū-Yamate avenue in the Daikanyama district of Tōkyō55

The execution of the designs evolves through the phases with exterior forms becoming more independent of the interior functions and new materials being employed For example, the first phase has a raised pedestrian deck that gives access to shops and a restaurant and this was designed to be extended in subsequent phases but the idea, along with the original master plan, was discarded in later phases56 By the third phase Maki moved away from the Modernist maxim of form follows function and started to design the building exteriors to better match the immediate environment57 The project acted as a catalyst to the redevelopment of the whole area around Daikanyama Station56

Metabolism in contextedit

Tōkyō after bombing, 1945

Metabolism developed during the post war period in a Japan that questioned its cultural identity Initially the group had chosen the name Burnt Ash School to reflect the ruined state of firebombed Japanese cities and the opportunity they presented for radical re-building Ideas of nuclear physics and biological growth were linked with Buddhist concepts of regeneration58 Although Metabolism rejected visual references from the past,59 they embraced concepts of prefabrication and renewal from traditional Japanese architecture, especially the twenty-year cycle of the rebuilding of the Ise Shrine to which Tange and Kawazoe were invited in 1953 The sacred rocks onto which the shrine is built were seen by the Metabolists as symbolising a Japanese spirit that predated Imperial aspirations and modernising influences from the West60

In his Investigations in Collective Form Maki coined the term Megastructure to refer structures that house the whole or part of a city in a single structure He originated the idea from vernacular forms of village architecture that were projected into vast structures with the aid of modern technology Reyner Banham borrowed Megastructure for the title of his 1976 book which contained numerous built and unbuilt projects He defined Megastructures as modular units with a short life span that attached to structural framework with a longer life span61 Maki would later criticise the Megastructure approach to design advocating instead his idea of Group Form which he thought would better accommodate the disorder of the city62

The architect Robin Boyd readily interchanges the word Metabolism with Archigram in his 1968 book New Directions in Japanese Architecture63 Indeed, the two groups both emerged in the 1960s and disbanded in the 1970s and used imagery with megastructures and cells, but their urban and architectural proposals were quite different Although utopian in their ideals, the Metabolists were concerned with improving the social structure of society with their biologically inspired architecture, whereas Archigram were influenced by mechanics, information and electronic media and their architecture was more utopian and less social62

Osaka Expo, 1970edit

The roof of the Festival Plaza, Osaka Expo 1970 Kikutake's Expo Tower, Osaka Expo 1970 Kurokawa's Toshiba-IHI Pavilion, Osaka Expo 1970

Japan was selected as the site for the 1970 World Exposition and 330 hectares in the Senri Hills in Osaka Prefecture were set aside as the location64 Japan had originally wanted to host a World Exposition in 1940 but it was cancelled with the escalation of the war The one million people who had bought tickets for 1940 were allowed to use them in 197065

Kenzo Tange joined the Theme Committee for the Expo and along with Uso Nishiyama he had responsibility for master planning the site The theme for the Expo became "Progress and Harmony for Mankind" Tange invited twelve architects, including Arata Isozaki, Otaka and Kikutake to design individual elements64 He also asked Ekuan to oversee the design of the furniture and transportation and Kawazoe to curate the Mid-Air Exhibition which was sited in the huge space-frame roof65

Tange envisioned that the Expo should be primarily conceived as a big festival where human beings could meet Central to the site he placed the Festival Plaza onto which were connected a number of themed displays, all of which were united under one huge roof66 In his Tōkyō Bay Project Tange spoke about the living body having two types of information transmission systems: fluid and electronic That project used the idea of a tree trunk and branches that would carry out those types of transmission in relation to the city Kawazoe likened the space frame roof of the Festival Plaza to the electronic transmission system and the aerial-themed displays that plugged into it to the hormonal system67

Kawazoe, Maki and Kurokawa had invited a selection of world architects to design displays for the Mid-Air Exhibition that was to be incorporated within the roof The architects included Moshe Safdie, Yona Friedman, Hans Hollein and Giancarlo De Carlo68 Although Tange was obsessed with the theory of flexibility that the space framed provide he did concede that in reality it was not so practical for the actual fixing of the displays67 The roof itself was designed by Koji Kamaya and Mamoru Kawaguchi who conceived it as a huge space frame Kawaguchi invented a welding-free ball joint to safely distribute the load and worked out a method of assembling the frame on the ground before raising it using jacks69

Kikutake's Expo Tower was situated on the highest hill in the grounds and acted as a landmark for visitors It was built of a vertical ball and joint space onto which was attached a series of cabins The design was to have been a blueprint for flexible vertical living based upon a 360m3 standard construction cabin clad with a membrane of cast aluminium and glass that could be flexibly arranged anywhere on the tower This was demonstrated with a variety of cabins that were observation platforms and VIP rooms and one cabin at ground level that became an information booth70

Kurokawa had won commissions for two corporate pavilions: the Takara Beautillion and the Toshiba IHI pavilion71 The former of these was composed of capsules plugged onto six point frames and was assembled in just six days; the latter was a space frame composed of tetrahedron modules, based upon his Helix City that could grow in 14 different directions and resemble organic growth72

Expo '70 has been described has the apotheosis of the Metabolist movement65 But even before Japan's period of rapid economic growth ended with the world energy crisis, critics were calling the Expo a dystopia that was removed from reality73 The energy crisis demonstrated Japan's reliance both on imported oil and led to a re-evaluation of design and planning with architects moving away from utopian projects towards smaller urban interventions74

Later yearsedit

Model of the Aquapolis, Okinawa Ocean Expo 1975 Kuwait Embassy and Chancellery of Japan 1970

After the 1970 Expo, Tange and the Metabolists turned their attention away from Japan towards the Middle East and Africa These countries were expanding on the back of income from oil and were fascinated by both Japanese culture and the expertise that the Metabolists brought to urban planning75 Tange and Kurokawa capitalised on the majority of the commissions, but Kikutake and Maki were involved too76

Tange's projects included a 57,000 seat stadium and sports center in Riyadh for King Faisal, and a sports city for Kuwait for the planned 1974 Pan Arab Games However, both were put on hold by the outbreak of the Fourth Arab-Israeli War in 1973 Likewise, the plan for a new city center in Tehran was cancelled after the 1979 revolution He did however complete the Kuwaiti Embassy in Tōkyō in 1970 and Kuwait's International Airport77

Kurokawa's work included a competition win for Abu Dhabi's National Theatre 1977, capsule-tower designs for a hotel in Baghdad 1975 and a city in the desert in Libya 1979–198478

Kikutake's vision for floating towers was partly realised in 1975 when he designed and built the Aquapolis for the Okinawa Ocean Expo The 100 x 100 meter floating city block contained accommodation that included a banquet hall, offices and residences for 40 staff and it was built in Hiroshima and then towed to Okinawa79 Further unbuilt floating city projects were undertaken, including a floating city in Hawaii for ocean research and a plug-in floating A-frame unit containing housing and offices that could have been used to provide mobile homes in the event of a natural disaster80


  1. ^ Mumford 2000, p5
  2. ^ Mumford 2000, p6-7
  3. ^ a b Lin 2010, p 26
  4. ^ Watanabe 2001, p 123
  5. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 139
  6. ^ Stewart 1987, p177
  7. ^ a b Riani 1969, p 24
  8. ^ Stewart 1987, p178
  9. ^ Stewart 1987, p181
  10. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 180
  11. ^ Lin 2010, p 19
  12. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 181-182
  13. ^ Goldhagen and Legault 2000, p283-284
  14. ^ Goldhagen and Legault 2000, p478
  15. ^ a b Lin 2010, p 22
  16. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 300
  17. ^ Lin 2010, p 20
  18. ^ a b Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 185
  19. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 187
  20. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 190-193
  21. ^ Lin 2010, p 18
  22. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 235
  23. ^ a b Lin 2010, p 23
  24. ^ a b Lin 2010, p 24
  25. ^ Goldhagen and Legault 2000, p285
  26. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 206
  27. ^ Goldhagen and Legault 2000, p279
  28. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 239 & 301
  29. ^ Lin 2010, p 2
  30. ^ Lin 2010, p 25
  31. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 186
  32. ^ Lin 2010, p 27
  33. ^ a b Lin 2010, p 238 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Lin_20102C_p28" defined multiple times with different content see the help page
  34. ^ Sorensen 2002, p 253
  35. ^ a b Lin 2010, p 30
  36. ^ a b Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 341
  37. ^ a b Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 352
  38. ^ a b Lin 2010, p 34
  39. ^ Lin 2010, p 32
  40. ^ Goldhagen and Legault 2000, p 286-287
  41. ^ a b c d e Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 284-292
  42. ^ a b Kulterman 1970, p 112
  43. ^ Kulterman 1970, p 123
  44. ^ Lin 2010, p 144-145
  45. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 680
  46. ^ a b Lin 2010, p 179-180
  47. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 363
  48. ^ Lin 2010, p 186
  49. ^ a b Lin 2010, p 188
  50. ^ Watanabe 2001, p 135
  51. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 388
  52. ^ a b Watanabe 2001, p 148-149
  53. ^ Lin 2010, p 233
  54. ^ Lin 2010, p 111
  55. ^ Lin 2010, p 119
  56. ^ a b Watanabe 2001, p 139
  57. ^ Watanabe 2001, p 157
  58. ^ Goldhagen and Legault 2000, p 287
  59. ^ Goldhagen and Legault 2000, p 289
  60. ^ Goldhagen and Legault 2000, p 290-292
  61. ^ Lin 2010, p 10
  62. ^ a b Lin 2010, p 11
  63. ^ Boyd 1968, p 16
  64. ^ a b Kulterman 1970, p 282
  65. ^ a b c Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 506-507
  66. ^ Kulterman 1970, p 284
  67. ^ a b Tange & Kawazoe 1970, p 31
  68. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 516
  69. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 511
  70. ^ Kikutake Assocs 1970, p 69
  71. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 507
  72. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 528-530
  73. ^ Sasaki 1970, p 143
  74. ^ Lin 2010, p 228
  75. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 591
  76. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 594-595
  77. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 606-610
  78. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 620-630
  79. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 152-153
  80. ^ Koolhaas & Obrist 2011, p 673-675


  • Boyd, Robin 1968 New Directions in Japanese Architecture London, United Kingdom: Studio Vista 
  • Goldhagen, Sarah W; Legault, Réjean, eds 2000 Anxious Modernisms Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press ISBN 0-262-07208-4 
  • Kikutake Assocs, May–June 1970, "EXPO Tower", The Japan Architect
  • Koolhaas, Rem; Obrist, Hans U 2011, Project Japan Metabolism Talks…, London: Taschen, ISBN 978-3-8365-2508-4 
  • Kultermann, Udo 1970 Kenzo Tange London, United Kingdom: Pall Mall Press ISBN 0-269-02686-X 
  • Lin, Zhongjie 2010 Kenzo Tange and the Metabolist Movement Routledge 
  • Pflumio, Cyril 2011 Je est une cabane dans le désert Notes sur l'espace et l'architecture japonaise in french Master's thesis, Strasbourg, Institut national des Sciences appliquées
  • Sasaki,Takabumi, May–June 1970, "reportage: A Passage Through the Dys-topia of EXPO'70", The Japan Architect
  • Sorensen, André 2002 The Making of Urban Japan - Cities and planning from Edo to the twenty-first century New York, United States: Routledge ISBN 0-203-99392-6 
  • Stewart, David B 2002 The Making of a Modern Japanese Architecture: From the Founders to Shinohara and Isozaki New York, United States: Kodansha International ISBN 4-7700-2933-0 
  • Tange & Kawazoe, May–June 1970, "Some thoughts about EXPO 70 - Dialogue between Kenzo Tange and Noboru Kawazoe", The Japan Architect
  • Watanabe, Hiroshi 2001 The Architecture of Tōkyō Stuttgart / London: Edition Axel Menges ISBN 3-930698-93-5 

Further readingedit

  • Noboru Kawazoe, et al 1960 Metabolism 1960: The Proposals for a New Urbanism Bitjsutu Shuppan Sha
  • Kisho Kurokawa 1977 Metabolism in Architecture Studio Vista ISBN 978-0-289-70733-3
  • Kisho Kurokawa 1992 From Metabolism to Symbiosis John Wiley & Sons ISBN 978-1-85490-119-4

metabolism (architecture), metabolism architecture agriculture city, metabolism architecture buildings, metabolism architecture, metabolism architecture japan, metabolism architecture style

Metabolism (architecture) Information about

Metabolism (architecture)

  • user icon

    Metabolism (architecture) beatiful post thanks!


Metabolism (architecture)
Metabolism (architecture)
Metabolism (architecture) viewing the topic.
Metabolism (architecture) what, Metabolism (architecture) who, Metabolism (architecture) explanation

There are excerpts from wikipedia on this article and video

Random Posts

Modern philosophy

Modern philosophy

Modern philosophy is a branch of philosophy that originated in Western Europe in the 17th century, a...
Tim Shadbolt

Tim Shadbolt

Timothy Richard "Tim" Shadbolt born 19 February 1947 is a New Zealand politician He is the Mayor of ...
HK Express

HK Express

Andrew Cowen Deputy CEO Website wwwhkexpresscom HK Express Traditional Chinese 香港快運航空...
List of shrinking cities in the United States

List of shrinking cities in the United States

The following municipalities in the United States have lost at least 20% of their population, from a...