Floating cities and spiral skyscrapers were Kiyonori Kikutake’s answer to Tokyo’s urban crowding

TOKYO – Kiyonori Kikutake, the architect, who has died aged 83, was the driving force behind Japan’s Metabolism movement, notable for audacious city plans that were in the best traditions of science fiction.

Having been galvanised in the Modernist cause by Kikutake, a generation of post-war architects vied with one another to create the most sensational utopian projects. Floating towns – either in the air or on water – were a standard theme.

In particular, he and his fellow Metabolists saw floating islands in Tokyo Bay as an answer to the megacity’s growth problem. Colonising the sea, Kikutake believed, was a means of escaping the heavy industrialisation that was a by-product of Japan’s economic miracle in the 1950s and 1960s. Some of his plans resembled giant termite hills rising from the waves.

(This story appeared in The Telegraph on Feb. 14, 2012. Read the rest here.)


About Died and yet ...

Fascinating people die every day, some well-known, some not so known. People's obituaries are often the only things written about their rich, varied, interesting lives. This blog celebrates the large and small among us, without whom our experiences wouldn't be as meaningful.

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