81-year old building in Ginza saved from demolition

A historic brick building fronting Ginza’s Showa Dori Avenue has been saved from demolition after the new owner had a change of heart and scrapped his redevelopment plans in favour of restoring the 81 year old building.

The Miyawaki Building is an unassuming 3-storey European-style brick building dating from 1932. For the past 40 years it had been operating as a restaurant, but was recently purchased by Kawasaki Brand Design.

The 31-year old owner, Rikihiro Kawasaki, originally had plans to demolish the building and replace it with a high-rise tower designed by architect Sou Fujimoto.

The building has been since been restored and is now home to the ‘Ginza Retro Gallery MUSEE‘, which is being curated by Kawasaki. Artwork by a select group of artists will be on display until September 1.  The gallery is open from 11am to 6pm daily (closed on Mondays).

Location

1-20-17 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Ginza’s Historic Buildings

Ginza sustained serious damage during air raids in WWII, but a handful of pre-WWII buildings are still standing to this day.

[1] Okuno Building / Ginza Apartments (1932); [2] Suzuki Building (1929); [3] Yonei Building (1930); [4] Takeda Building (1932); [5] Wako (1932); [6] Taimei Elementary School (1929).
Sources:

Building images via Kawasaki Brand Design
The Asahi Shimbun, July 17, 2013.
Ginza Keizai Shimbun, May 21, 2013.