Saint Mary’s Cathedral3-16-5 Sekiguchi,Bunkyo-kuArchitect: Kenzo Tange(1964)In 1911the grotto of Lourdes was built by French Missionary, Fr. Demanger.

Havingbeing destroyed completely during World War II, the church has to be rebuilt,and the Dioceseof Koln (Germany) gave its help for the reconstruction. The planningby Architect Tange Kenzo started in 1960, and the new Cathedral was inauguratedin December 1964.  History of St. Mary’s Cathedral (Maybe take this to thetop)It was built in 1899 by the students as the Chapel of theFrench Missionaries Seminary, and in 1900 became the church of Sekiguchiparish. In 1920 became the Cathedral Church of the Archbishop of Tokyo.Until 1945, when it was destroyed by fire caused by the airattack, Tokyo Cathedral was a wooden gothic style church.In the beginning it had a tatamifloor, but in the late twenties the center was filled by chairs. At that timepeople used to take off their shoes entering the church.

 8 hyperbolic facesalmost vertical make up a big structure in the shape of a cross. It becamefamous to the world as a unique churchconstruction, with steel concretecovered by stainless steel.In 1961 Kenzo Tange won a competition to rebuild a templedemolished during the Second World War. The design was put to life incooperation with Wilhelm Schlombs, Max Lechner and engineer Yoshikatsu Tsuboi.The cathedral was built between 1963 and 1964. The complex is located on anirregular, pentagonal plot. The development comprises the church (with seatsfor ca. 1500 people), a vestry, a missionary house, an information building, agarden and the archbishop’s residence.

The shape of the church which stands in the middle of the complex is outlinedonly by the surfaces of the roof. The form is composed of eight hyperbolic andparaboloidal layers. Arranged along the edge of a rhomboidal outline, thesurfaces make up the cross of the skylight at the height of 25 metres. Acrevice filled with glass separates particular shapes horizontally at the levelof the finial of the roof, and vertically – with windows that reach the base. Church – Main paper characteristics:Influence of Chinese & western culture on Modern ChurchArchitecture:In Christianity, a church is a sacred sanctuary where the religiousChristian can assemble to perform their religious duties. In history the Churchhas the highest level of power in governing the masses, thus leading to themost elevated extravagant architectural design involving innovation, scale, structure, material and engineering.

Itmade possible to understand that the design had to be built on the highestlevel of the western construction technology and artistic value. St. Mary’s Cathedral: (main focus)The religious significance has been kept intact as the eightcurved walls ascending from the base to the meet at a level they signify across. Here the religious symbolism has been used and incorporated inarchitecture with an innovatively creative process.Structure:The hard walls of pre-cast concrete evoke the words of the Bible: “The Lord ismy rock and my bastion, my deliverer is my God.” (Ps.18,2) They show how God isthe pillar and the foundation for all men.

 Scale of the church in relation to the elements of thechurch: The contextual answer to the site of the church in acontrast, the immediate context is eviscerated and irregular, while the surfaceof the Cathedral is smooth and unobtrusive. This impression is furtherexaggerated with the color and linear divisions coping with regularity.  We relate the materialist relations and metaphors linking tofactors of architectural essence and religion. The exterior of the Cathedral iscladded with stainless steel supports and aluminium frames which diffuse lightmuch homogenously as compares to the environment and its glitter is interpretedas symbolically the light that Christ makes shine upon the world and hearts ofmen. The form is interpreted as an image of hands outstretched as an invitationto all men.

“Cometo me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. “(Mt.11,28)While the exterior is illuminated by glittering reflection,the character of the interior space is rather intimate, dark and rough,provided by huge exposed concrete inclining walls. The plan is in the shape ofa cruciform. Scarce but sharp light is providedby long longitudinal skylights and windows protruding light into the cathedralbouncing off the hard interior surfaces.

The interior has a eight curved wallscreating a cave-like space, similar to the elements residing in the Ronchamp chapel and the overall stimulus feeling ofthe Gothic European Churches. This mainly was the result of Tange visiting medievalgothic churches and the characters involved with him building the Cathedral.The cruciform skylight reaches through the structure vertically and extendsdown through the facades to the ground level. Another prominent feature is thefree standing tower 60m high piercing the sky with its protruded cross,asymmetrically composed in the frame to state a bold gesture.  The character of the cathedral’s design unambiguously allowsit to be incorporated into the principles of modern architecture. “Architecturaldesign is a special way of understanding reality, which it influences andtransforms. The artful form mirrors reality while at the same time enrichingit. For this process to happen, it is necessary to understand the anatomy ofreality, its physical and spiritual structure as a whole.

” “After experiencing their grandeur, trying toreach the sky, and their ineffably mystical spaces, I began to imagine newspaces, and I wanted to create them using modern technology”This building most strongly reflects Tange’s philosophy ofhow architectural creation requires that the anatomy of reality, its substantialand spiritual structure, to be grasped as a whole Boyd. For Tange, the designof the cathedral was a contextual response to a religious site. That requiredthe church goers to feel a sense of awe and wonder at the powerful architecturewhich intern would yield a strong emotional response Kroll.


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