The Danish Pavilion built for EXPO 92 in Seville and relocated to Japan in 1993 may be demolished early this year.
The pavilion was designed by Knud Holscher of KHR Architects AS and Erik Reitzel and debuted in Spain in 1992. The town of Tanba (now part of Kyotamba town) purchased the building for approximately 1 billion Yen (about 9 million USD at the time) as a symbol for cultural exchange between the two countries. It was shifted to Tanba to a site that the then-mayor was planning to convert into the Kyoto Denmark Park. The ambitious project was considered ground-breaking but quickly turned into a white elephant. The plans never eventuated after the mayor was caught up in a corruption scandal. The following economic malaise of the 1990s sealed the project’s fate.
The 28 meter tall building has a total floor area of 990 sqm (10,650 sq ft), a 300-seat auditorium and several meeting rooms. In the past it had been used for town events, conferences, karaoke competitions, and high-school band practice. Although originally designed to be cleverly cooled with water through special exterior air intakes, the high ceilings made the interior difficult for the town to air-condition and it gradually fell out of favor as an event space. In recent years it had been used as a storage facility.
Demolition costs are estimated at around 72 million Yen (approx. 660,000 USD). There are also plans to demolish the nearby 190 sqm Denmark House – a low-rise wooden home.
Source: The Kyoto Shimbun, December 19, 2017.