Modernist National Theatre to be demolished

The Japan Arts Council is moving forward on plans to demolish the National Theatre of Japan building in Chiyoda and replace it with a new theatre with a hotel on the upper floors.

The hotel operations would be outsourced to an operator. In addition, there would also be restaurant and cafe facilities. 

The National Theatre was built in 1966. The exterior was designed in the azekura log-style that was used for the 1,200-year-old Shōsō-in Treasure House of Nara’s Todai-ji temple. Takenaka Corporation’s design was selected out of over 300 submissions. 

It won the BCS Prize in 1968, and in 1998 was ranked in the top 100 public buildings in Japan. In 2003, DOCOMOMO Japan added it to their list of modern movement buildings. The garden in front of the theatre was landscaped by Ken Nakajima, a noted landscaper of traditional Japanese gardens across the world. Over 10 varieties of cherry blossom trees were planted. 

The land was once the Edo mansion of the Daimyo of the Akashi Domain.

Source: The Tokyo Shimbun, November 6, 2021.

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