Leading Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, died this week of heart failure on Friday Oct 12th in Tokyo. He was 73.
His last years were spent fighting the authorities to save his iconic Nakagin Tower from demolition. In typical style, he even ran for the post of Mayor in a last-ditch attempt to save the building. In the end, the building outlived its creator. The capsule tower, as it has become known was a visionary concept when it was designed in the early 1970s and has since become a major Tokyo tourist attraction but its future still hangs on a thread. In 2005 a WAN poll showed 95% of architects from around the world beleived the tower should be saved.
Kurokawa, who made his world debut in 1960 at age 26, led a style known as the Metabolism Movement, advocating a shift from "machine principle" to "life principle" literally work and architectural designs based on themes including ecology, recycling and intermediate space.
His major works include the National Ethnological Museum in Tokyo, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia that encompasses palm trees and rain forest, the National Art Center in Tokyo's posh Roppongi that looks like a wavy curtain, as well as the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Kurokawa received the Gold Medal from France's Academy of Architecture in 1986, and most recently the Chicago Athenaeum Museum International Architecture Award in 2006.
WAN interviews Dennis Sharp from DoCoMoMo about the life of Kisho Kurokawa - listen to the podcast this Friday 19 October.
Main Image: Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa in front of his curvaceous new wing of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.