Tracing the origins of connections between the Ueno and Hongo areas: Vision of the Designated Zone for Education in Hongo plan (Hongo Bunkyo Chiku)

This article focuses on the planning of the Designated Zone for Education (Bunkyo chiku) by a group of architects from the University of Tokyo who offered the earliest attempt to link the two areas of Ueno and Hongo. The previous article talks about the vision of Ishikawa Hideaki (1893-1955) and it was the young professors and architects from the University of Tokyo including Takayama Eika (1910-1999) and Tange Kenzo (1913-2005) who put the concepts into designs.

The grand plan of the Designated Zone for Education in Hongo reveals both Ishikawa’s urban planning concepts, as well as the vision of Nanbara Shigeru (1889-1974), president of the University of Tokyo at the time and director of the Planning Council of the Designated Zone for Education. The blueprints were based on the teamwork under Takayama, who worked as an associate professor, and Tange, who served as an assistant at the time. The actual drawings were mainly made by Tange and his students including Asada Takashi (1921-1990), Otani Sachio (1924-2013), and Shimokobe Atsushi (1923-). It was recalled by Shimokobe that Tange told the students to include one building in the plan that would be recognized among the architecture of the world. Shimokobe recollected that he copied buildings in Paris. When seeing the final plan, Nanbara laughed and commented that this kind of plan with an array of world architecture was unprecedented.

From the drawings (illustrations 1-3), we can see that the so-called “Hongo area” encompasses not just Hongo but also Ueno, Koishikawa, and Yushima. The four zones, circled in illustration 2, were designated with specific usage: Hongo in the center as the site of the Imperial University, Ueno in the east as the Area for Art, Koishikawa in the west as the Welfare Zone and Yushima in the south as the Central Area for International Academics. These zones are mainly separated by green belts. This kind of zoning by use and incorporation of green belts echo with Ishikawa’s general plan for the entire city of Tokyo.

Master plan in Plan of Zone Designated for Education in Hongo, proposed by Tokyo Imperial University Committee of Zone Designated for Education, August 1946. Drawn by Takayama Eika, Tange Kenzo, Ikebe Kiyoshi, Asada Takashi, Otani Sachio, and others. Source: 川上秀光、石田頼房、「変貌する都市ー転機を迎えた戦後日本の都市計画」,『建築年鑑』, 美術出版社,1960, p. 38.

Master plan in Plan of Zone Designated for Education in Hongo, proposed by Tokyo Imperial University Committee of Zone Designated for Education, August 1946. Drawn by Takayama Eika, Tange Kenzo, Ikebe Kiyoshi, Asada Takashi, Otani Sachio, and others. Source: 川上秀光、石田頼房、「変貌する都市ー転機を迎えた戦後日本の都市計画」,『建築年鑑』, 美術出版社,1960, p. 38.

Basic Plan. Source: ibid., p. 39.

Basic Plan. Source: ibid., p. 39.

Land Use Plan. Source: ibid., p. 40.

Land Use Plan. Source: ibid., p. 40.

This plan also reflects Nanbara’s vision to build a university town in this area. In addition to areas for academic purpose, e.g. teaching and learning, it includes accommodations following the model of Oxford University’s town and its residential hall system. To make the individual zones more accessible to each other, the design incorporates a public transportation system consisting of railways, trams, buses, subways, and three boulevards (Illustration 4). The two North-to-South boulevards, Hongo Street and Yanaka-Hongo-Yushima, and one West-to-East boulevard, Koishikawa-Hongo-Ueno, would help create a network enabling various activities and services for the campus users.

Transportation Plan. Source: ibid., p. 40.

Transportation Plan. Source: ibid., p. 40.

This plan was not implemented and only remained as blueprint designs. However this project contributed to nurturing future talents. After finishing this Hongo area planning, one of his earliest works, Tange later won the competition for the Hiroshima Peace Site in the 1950s and Yoyogi National Gymnasium in the 1960s, and became famous as the first internationally recognized Japanese architect. Tange’s students who participated in this project, Asada, Otani and Shimokobe, would also become important architects and urban planners in Japan. Dr. Atsushi Shimokobe Archives with approximately 8,000 pieces of documents related to Shimokobe are preserved by the Research Institute for Urban and Environmental Development, Japan and accessible both online and at their office in Toranomon.

参考文献:

川上秀光, 石田頼房, 「変貌する都市ー転機を迎えた戦後日本の都市計画」, 『建築年鑑』, 美術出版社,1960, pp. 33-47.

東京大学図書館, 「時を超えて響きあう〜南原繁と新図書館計画〜」展覧会パネル, 2013年11月1日~12月1日, 2014年3月7日~3月17日.

東秀紀, 『戦後都市計画を再考する:高山英華の生涯』, 第42回NSRI都市・環境フォーラム, NO. 282, 2011年6月21日.

佐藤竜馬, 今瀧哲之, 名塚雅絵編集, 『丹下健三 伝統と創造: 瀬戸内から世界へ』, 東京: 美術出版社, 2013.

豊川斎赫編, 『丹下健三とKENZO TANGE』, 東京: オーム社, 2013.

丹下健三, 藤森照信, 『丹下健三』, 東京: 新建築社, 2002.

下河辺淳アーカイブス, http://www.ued.or.jp/shimokobe/, accessed January 2015.

作成者  | 2015-09-16 (水)
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