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Japanese Architect Kazuo Shinohara Dies at 81

After a 10-year illness, Tokyo architect Kazuo Shinohara passed away on July 15 at a Kawasaki City hospital.  Shinohara will be remembered for his significant contributions as both a practitioner and an educator.  After graduating in 1953 from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Shinohara launched his teaching career at his alma mater.  A number of Japan’s most influential architects, such as Toyo Ito, Itsuko Hasegawa and Kazunari Sakamoto, studied closely with Shinohara during his 33-year academic tenure.

Concurrently Shinohara began his practice by designing houses that were contemporary explorations of traditional Japanese architecture, such as the House in Kugayama and the Umbrella House completed in 1954 and 1961 respectively. Shinohara was one of the first designers to embrace Tokyo’s chaotic urban condition as a design theme.  For example, Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Centennial Hall, Shinohara’s 1987 masterpiece, is an assemblage of forms that pays homage to the city. 

Naomi Pollock