Thursday, July 12, 2012

TANGE's original plan for Peace Park

Photo courtesy of arch-hiroshima 
This is how Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the Museum, designed by TANGE Kenzo, look today. However, the original drawing/model submitted to the competition held by the city of Hiroshima in 1949 looked relatively different though the overall framework stayed exactly the same. For one thing, the plan TANGE conceived of had to be modified to deal with financial shortage.

Let me point out one interesting item which was in the original plan but missing now: the 120-meter-wide 60-meter-high rainbow-like Peace Memorial Arch with five bells hanging from the top. It’s hard to imagine that could have been built. I’m not sure but I might not like it very much.

One of the judges, KISHIDA, praised TANGE’s plan highly but was critical of this arch thing. He said the arch looked like the gateway arch proposed by Eero SAARINEN for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, St. Louis, U.S., which was eventually completed in 1965.

It seems TANGE was conscious of the possibility that the similarity between his and SAARINEN’s would be pointed out. He included it in his plan anyway.

In an interview conducted much later, he answered that he thought it would be annoying if someone should refer to it. Because he wanted to insist that he was not influenced by SAARINE’s but by Le Corbusier’s design for the Palace of Soviets.

To see SAARINEN’s arch, click here.

TANGE’s original plan can be found here.

More historical photos including that of TANGE’s original plan are posted here
This is a page from Hiroshima Peace Site, the official web site of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

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