National Theatre of Japan to be demolished next year

On June 17 the Japan Arts Council announced that the National Theatre of Japan will officially close its doors at the end of October 2023 with the modernist building to be demolished and redeveloped.

The new building will include theatre space along with a hotel and restaurant. Completion is tentatively scheduled for late 2029.

In the meantime, theatre performances will be held at other facilities in Tokyo including the National Noh Theatre in Sendagaya, and the New National Theatre, Tokyo in Shibuya.

The National Theatre was designed by Takenaka Corporation and 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. 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.

Source: The Mainichi Shimbun, June 17, 2022.

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