St Mary’s Cathedral | Tokyo, Japan
Seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tokyo, St Mary’s Cathedral was designed by Kenzo Tange in 1964, to replace the original wooden gothic style cathedral standing since 1899 and destroyed during a World War II air raid.
Tange conceived the new church as a concrete structure, simple in concept and complex in shape, which recalls the lightness of a bird and its wings. The eight walls – the elements which hold the whole structure – are at the same time roof and walls, enclosing the space and opening to the outside through vertical gaps. The walls are curved hyperbolically to express the tension to the sky, and turning the rhomboidal ground floor into a cross at the roof top. The different heights of the wings, asymmetrical, make it a dynamic shape on the sky background.
Read more about St Mary’s on Japan Two