Saturday, August 22, 2009

[東京都 p11] The Tokyo Olympics 1964

The Tokyo Olympics
"The premier city planning project of the early 1960s was undoubtedly the preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. Tokyo was selected in 1959 to be the host city for the summer Olympics of 1964, and being chosen was a source of great national pride, coming as it did relatively shortly after the end of the occupation, and symbolizing Japan's re-entry into the community of nations as a sovereign state. The occasion was used by the Tokyo government as an opportunity to leverage in national government funds to build some much needed urban infrastructure, and most Japanese accounts of the city planning impact only briefly mention the sports facilities built, focusing instead on the roads, expressways, subways, monorail, sewers and water supply improvements that were rushed to completion in time for the games. These all had an enormous impact on the city because rapid economic growth of the 1950s had resulted in terrible congestion problems in central Tokyo."
-- 'The Making of Urban Japan' Andre Sorensen

"The Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway is without doubt the most outstanding and important structure in the fabric of the city. Massive concrete and steel beams support a vast network of roadways that weaves its way through the entire capital, its tentacles stretching as far as the outlying districts of Yokohama, Saitama and Chiba. This traffic roll-coaster flies through and over the cityscape, skimming low-lying rooftops, snaking between towering office blocks and diving into underground tunnels. It adds a further dynamic dimension to the hilly Tokyo landscape, drawing attention to the constantly changing levels and differences between areas, whether industrial, residential or commercial. This three-dimensional, sequential space has no comparison worldwide."
-- Tajima

1964 Olympics Gymnasium
Kenzo Tange, Architect
Yoshikatsu Tsuboi, Engineer

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