Where is this place?:The Open Space with the Statue of Josiah Condor

The open space in the campus of the Faculty of Engineering, the University of Tokyo, with the Statue of Josiah Condor accentuating the west end, is special in several ways when taking a close inspection.

Its present look registers a few historical legacies. In addition to the statues of Condor and Charles West (the latter, an Irish professor who taught mechanical engineering and naval architecture here around the turn of the twentieth century), the huge ginkgo tree, Hebiduka Tumulus, and stones scattering in the lawn also witness the changes in the area. The ginkgo tree is dated back to two hundred years ago when the Faculty was still Kobudaigakou (1873-1886). Hebiduka Tumulus is said to be a relic of the Kaga Domain, the second-biggest domain in Edo period, which owned the land of today’s Hongo campus. The large round stones were the ones used to enclose the meadow in Meiji period. Now together with the newly added models of The Pencil Rocket launched in 1955 and the first Japanese satellite, Osumi, launched in 1970, and chess benches, they form the “Pathway of Modern Knowledge” as a part of the commemorative project of the 130th anniversary of the University in 2007.

Statue of Charles West

Statue of Charles West

Round stones in the lawn

Stones in the lawn

Plan of the campus by Josiah Condor, c1877. Source: 東京大学総合研究資料館特別展示実行委員会編,『東京大学本郷キャンパスの百年』, 東京: 東京大学総合研究資料館, 1988, p. 18.

Plan of the campus by Josiah Condor, c1877.
Source: 東京大学総合研究資料館特別展示実行委員会編,『東京大学本郷キャンパスの百年』, 東京: 東京大学総合研究資料館, 1988, p. 18.

Plan of the campus renovation by Uchida Yoshikazu, c. 1936, oil painting by Kishida Hideto 東京大学本郷キャンパス構想図、昭和11年(1936)頃の作、油絵(岸田 日出刀作). Source: Ibid., p. 46.

Plan of the campus renovation by Uchida Yoshikazu, c. 1936, oil painting by Kishida Hideto
東京大学本郷キャンパス構想図、昭和11年(1936)頃の作、油絵(岸田 日出刀作).
Source: Ibid., p. 46.

Plan of the Hongo Regeneration Project with green axes and open space, by Kishida Shogo, 1994. Source: 岸田省吾, 『大学の空間から建築の時空へ』, 東京: 鹿島出版会, 2012, p. 25.

Plan of the Hongo Regeneration Project with green axes and open space, by Kishida Shogo, 1994.
Source: 岸田省吾, 『大学の空間から建築の時空へ』, 東京: 鹿島出版会, 2012, p. 25.

This open space also embodies an ideal of campus and university. In Condor’s original design, this place was left vacant with the green. In Uchida Yoshikazu’s plan for the campus renovation after the 1923 Kanto earthquake, this space remained with paths radiating from the ginkgo tree. From the actual construction years of the engineering buildings, much later than the campus restoration, it could be said that Uchida prioritized the courtyard space over the individual buildings. This area remained as a public open space in the 1994 regeneration plan of the Hongo Campus led by the professor in architecture, Kishida Shogo. This open space seems to echo the very origin of the word, “campus”, which meant “field” in Latin until Princeton University applied it to the college context in the eighteenth century.

With a mix of the old and new sculptures and installations that direct and serve as the focus of people’s sight and offer places of rest, this open space reflects the ideal of a university, where people and thoughts meet and new knowledge is nurtured from the encounterings.

参考文献

東京大学総合研究資料館特別展示実行委員会編,『東京大学本郷キャンパスの百年』, 東京: 東京大学総合研究資料館, 1988.

東京大学工学部建築計画室・建築学科岸田研究室編, 『大学の空間 : ヨーロッパとアメリカの大学23例と東京大学本郷キャンパス再開発』, 東京: 鹿島出版会, 1996.

西秋良宏編, 『加賀殿再訪: 東京大学本郷キャンパスの遺跡』, 東京: 東京大学総合研究博物館, 2000.

木下直之, 岸田省吾, 大場秀章, 『東京大学本郷キャンパス案内』, 東京: 東京大学出版会, 2005.

岸田省吾, 『大学の空間から建築の時空へ』, 東京: 鹿島出版会, 2012.

東京大学, 「知のプロムナード」, <http://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/130ut/promenade/> (2014/07/05アクセス)

Sand, Jordan, Tokyo Vernacular: Common Spaces, Local Histories, Found Objects, Berkeley: University of California Press, c2013.

作成者  | 2014-11-11 (火)
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