Japanese Architect Kisho Kurokawa Dies

15 October 2007 (Last Updated October 15th, 2007 11:46)

Celebrated Japanese architect and founder of the Metabolism Movement, Kisho Kurokawa, died Friday of heart failure. He was 73. He leaves behind a legacy of post-war Japanese architecture. Kurokawa was well known as a patron for renewable architecture – creating buildings and c

Celebrated Japanese architect and founder of the Metabolism Movement, Kisho Kurokawa, died Friday of heart failure. He was 73.

He leaves behind a legacy of post-war Japanese architecture.

Kurokawa was well known as a patron for renewable architecture – creating buildings and city plans in parts that could be adapted and replaced.

The Metabolism Movement, which aspired to this, came to full bloom in the 1970s under his theory of 'symbiosis', moving from the 'Age of Machine Principle' to the 'Age of Life Principle', a concept Kurokawa said brought together different persons, cultures, theories and lifestyles.

With this understanding, Kurokawa designed the National Ethnological Museum, the Nagoya City Art Museum, the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Toyota Stadium and more, all in Japan.

Kurokawa also created the Tea House and Japanese Garden of Frank Lloyd Write Foundation in the US, Maggies Centre in the UK, New Kumming Airport City in China and Pacific Tower in Paris.

He received the Gold Medal from France's Academy of Architecture in 1986 and was recognised in his home country with the 48th Japan Art Academy Award in 1992 – Japan's highest award for art and architecture.

He was also the first Japanese architect to become an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Union of Architects in Bulgaria.

Kurokawa, who saw many Japanese buildings destroyed during the war, has said in interviews his interest in architecture came from a desire to create a liveable city.

During the war Kurokawa lived with his grandfather in a tea room outside of war-torn Nagoya where, according to a report in the LA Times, a lot of his sensibilities in design were born. He also prescribed to Buddhist beliefs.

The report also says Kurokawa was also one of the first architects to use computers in design in a quest to merge science with history.

May this year, Kisho Kurokawa Architecture & Associations opened its first US office.

By Penny Jones