The International House Japan carries a special place in Japan’s post-war architectural history. Here, Tange would host several weddings for members of his Tange Lab, including Kurokawa’s. In 1960, the Metabolists would also use the building to write their founding document.
The history of the International House goes back to the 1920s, when John D. Rockefeller III and Matsumoto Shigeharu first met at a conference in Kyoto. After the war, the American philanthropist visited Japan again and developed with Japanese intellectuals of the times the concept of a “culture centre” fostering international exchange.
Japan International House is an architectural monument in its own right. It was designed by the triumvirate of Sakakura, Mayekawa and Yoshimura, representing the architectural generation before Kenzo Tange’s. Both Sakakura and Mayekawa had spent some of their formative years in Paris working in grand master Le Corbusier’s atelier. Tange himself had worked for Mayekawa during the war.
Under the tutelage of Tange, the Metabolists wrote their manifesto Metabolism 1960 in the International House. They included Kikutake, Kurokawa, Maki and Otaka as well as critic Kawazoe. Mostly in their thirties, they would shape Japanese architecture over the decades to come and attain international fame.
The International House itself was built in International style. It has a very bright and airy atmosphere inside, conducive to concentrated work for sure. Members can also crash overnight here.