Shizuoka Shimbun Building, Shimbashi

Mike GristArchitecture 4 Comments

The headquarters of the Shizuoka newspaper in Shimbashi, Tokyo, is another Kenzo Tange building- he of Fuji Terebi and the Tocho. It resembles nothing so much as a giant mutated baobab tree, vivid rust-colored and sprouting fat boughs that elide in stubby endings, on one side its groping knubs reaching out to latch onto the closest building.

Tange also designed the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Memorial Peace Park, inspired by a Frenchman who chose to call himself ‘the Corbusier’. They were both modernists, which generally meant they used a lot of conrete in great chunks, and went in for funky abstract shapes.

At the top of the SBS there are these 5 decks of observation platforms. From up here the editors can use telescopes to spy on the surrounding high-rises and parks and so gather news in an efficient manner- without the added negtive of going out in the hot sun.

I made that up. It might be true though.

Glory, glory!


Location – Shimbashi.

Entry – Nope. Nothing to see on the ground floor anyway.

Facts – 1967, Kenzo Tange.

Highlights – Describing it as a baobab tree.


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Comments 4

  1. I wonder if it’s as efficient and eco-friendly as Le Corbusier would have wanted it.

    It’s easy to claim that you follow his example, but the guy was such a genius, that actually doing the same as him is way more difficult.

  2. I never saw this building when I lived in Tokyo, but I didn’t frequent Shimbashi that much. I have to say it’s a pretty ugly building, very awkward looking and the brown color is horrible. It also seems inefficient in space optimization.

    Perhaps if it were green and the full cactus look were embraced?

  3. I’ve seen a lot of strange and unique Tokyo buildings but that is one of the oddest I have seen. It looks like there is room for no more then 8 or 10 small offices.

  4. Post

    JeanRob- I wonder too- I’m afraid I could very little out about the place on the net. Le Corbusier seems like an interesting guy.

    Jason- I only saw it when I was out scouring for interesting buildings between Shimbashi and Ginza. Perhaps the brown of my photo doesn’t do the actual color justice, cos I think it looks quite pleasant. Green though and properly cactusized, can’t disagree that that would be very cool.

    Tornadoes- It is weird, and yes very little room for much of anything, once the central stalk/elevator shaft is taken out of the equation.

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