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Hiroshi Watanabe


(b Tokyo, June 22, 1941).

Japanese architect. He graduated from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music in 1965 and in that year entered the office of Arata Isozaki. He left to open his own office in Tokyo in 1969. Critical of modernist architecture, Rokkaku took a more intuitive approach to design, drawing inspiration from pre-modern rituals such as geomancy. The Zasso Forest Kindergarten (1977) in Kyoto Prefecture incorporated wind-driven sculpture by Susumu Shingu on top of each tower, creating what Rokkaku called ‘wind-games architecture’. This reflected the desire of the Basara group, of which he was a member, to use playfulness and other forms of self-expression in architecture. Other works include the Konkōkyō Hall of Worship (1980) in Fukuoka City, a cannon-shaped building for a popular religion that incorporates the symbolic geometry of the circle, and the large, ambitious Metropolitan Martial Arts Hall in Tokyo (1989).

C. Fawcett...