Musashino in talks to buy modernist residence

Musashino City is currently in discussions to acquire a modernist home designed by a renowned Czech architect.

The two-story concrete home was designed by Antonin Raymond and built in 1934 for industrialist Tetsuma Akaboshi (1883-1951). Akaboshi’s father had made his fortune supplying goods and materials to the navy. At the age of 18 he was sent to Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, and went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania. He moved to Musashino after his home in Roppongi was destroyed in the 1923 Kanto earthquake (the Roppongi property is now the International House of Japan). His first home in Musashino was a house he had imported from the US, before going on to build this current home.

The modernist home has a total floor area of 3,500 sqm (37,600 sq.ft) and sits on an acre of gardens. In 1944 it was confiscated by the army, and confiscated a second time after the end of WWII by the occupying forces. In 1956 the Sisters of Notre Dame De Namur purchased the property and used it as a training facility. Last year, the Sisters announced plans to sell the property in the next two years. Local historic protection groups sprang into action, seeking the preservation of the architecturally significant home and to ensure it does not fall into the wrong hands.

Land of this size in this part of Kichijoji would have a market value of around 3 billion Yen (approx. 27 million USD). However, the city is likely to use a lower valuation for the acquisition price.

Location

Kichijoji Honcho, Musashino City

Source: The Tokyo Shimbun, January 19, 2020.

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