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Tokyo Architecture Week: St Mary’s Cathedral

11 Apr

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St Mary’s Cathedral. There’s one in every town; it’s like the McDonalds of Catholic-land.

Thankfully, despite the name being generic, Kenzo Tange came up with a creation that is anything but.  He designed the stunning Tokyo cathedral (the first in the city) as a replacement for the original church that was destroyed by fire in World War II.  The highlight of the building is its “upsweeping, parabolic roofs”: hyperbolic, in that the roof creates a cross visible from the sky as well as inside; and parabolic in that it is quietly asymmetrical. And, almost 40 years before Gehry et al started cladding everything in stainless steel, there was Tange, quietly doing his thing in the east. And oh what a beautiful thing it is.

Divine (ahem) photos courtesy of Liao Yusheng.

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Posted by on April 11, 2009 in architecture, building, focusing

 

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