TITLE

The Structural Core as Totem: Reflections on Form and Symbol in the Architecture of Metabolism

AUTHOR(S)
Pompili, Marco
PUB. DATE
January 2012
SOURCE
Fabrications: The Journal of the Society of Architectural Histor;2012, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p68
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Essay
ABSTRACT
The Metabolists (Kiyonori Kikutake, Kisho Kurokawa, Masato Otaka, Fumihiko Maki and the critic Noboru Kawazoe) devised an architectural prototype, the form of which centred on a structural core. Cylindrical and, more rarely, quadrangular structural cores are the backbone of the group's architectural inventions. Existing literature has not examined the role of this element and its symbolic meanings and, most notably, how the core and its form are linked to the group's background and conceptual basis. This essay proposes a reading of the structural core as a "totemic" figure, and discusses the group's writings and designs, beginning with Kiyonori Kikutake's pre-Metabolist explorations of 1958, the crystallization of the movement in the booklet Metabolism 1960: The Proposals for a New Urbanism, and the designs immediately following its publication. Alluding to the Shinto notion of "regeneration"--the iterative process of construction and destruction captured in the famous cyclical rebuilding of Ise Grand Shrine--the structural core is "artificial land", an idealized territory on which a modern Japanese identity is reformulated.
ACCESSION #
82608910

 

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