The Fukuoka-Hibiki Shinkin Bank in Kitakyushu City has narrowly avoided demolition and will be restored by the Bank owner.
The bank was designed by Togo Murano (1891-1984), and built in 1971. Murano is widely regarded as one of Japan’s Modern Masters, having completed over 300 projects across the country. He is highly celebrated in Kitakyushu, having lived there in his teens before briefly working at the city’s steel works. The bank building is topped with two machine rooms that resemble blast furnaces.
In 2017, one of his ‘phantom factories’ was discovered in a steel mill in the Tobata district of the Yawata Steel Works. The factory has been in use since 1941. Sadly his works are gradually being demolished. Recent demolitions have included:
- Senri Newtown Civic Center Building. Built in 1964. Demolished in 2015.
- Kitakyushu City Yahata Library. Built in 1955. Demolished in 2016.
- Industrial Bank of Japan Headquarters. Built in 1974. Demolished in 2017.
Repeated mergers have seen the bank outgrow its head office, requiring more floorspace. The acquisition of the adjoining city-owned Kendo sports hall will give them room to build new office space while preserving Murano’s iconic design.
Source: The Nishi Nippon Shimbun, March 24, 2021.
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