Special ExhibitionThe Prolific World of TOGO MURANO: From the Memorial Cathedral for World Peace


One of the leading figures in Japanese architecture, Togo Murano (1891-1984) was active mainly in the Kansai region before and after the war, designing a large number of highly unique buildings including among others the Sogo Department Store Osaka (1935), Ube City Public Hall (1937), Osaka New Kabuki Theater (1958), and the Nippon Life Insurance Company Hibiya Building (Nissay Theatre, 1963).
In 1994, ten years after Murano’s death, his family donated over 50,000 original design drawings to the Kyoto Institute of Technology Museum and Archives. Members of the Institute’s architecture laboratory and external researchers established a “Research Group for Architectural Drawings of Togo Murano” that continues to research and organize these items, the results of which have been showcased in 14 exhibitions so far. Minute architectural models created by architecture students present an overview of Murano’s work from the whole down to small details, to be experienced just as if walking inside the actual buildings, or from a normally rather difficult bird’s-eye perspective.
One major focus of this exhibition is on the Memorial Cathedral for World Peace that Murano built in Hiroshima. This outstanding work completed in 1954 was awarded the Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ) Prize in 1956, and became the first ever postwar construction to be designated as a National Important Cultural Property in 2006. One of the exhibition’s highlights is a corner dedicated to the repeatedly revised design proposals for the Cathedral, illustrating the long process of trial and error before settling for the final design. Such elements as a façade that imparts its particular taste with time, unique shadow effects, textures and feels of materials, an exquisite fusion of Japanese and Westerns styles, and the beauty of gently curved lines, reflect the architect’s attention to details for the Cathedral’s design, while at once being characteristic aspects that convey the rich variety of Murano’s diverse architectural design up to his final years. The exhibition will be an opportunity for visitors to encounter the boundlessly abundant world of Togo Murano’s architectural practice and philosophy as shaped by his particular sensitivity and experience, from various points of view.

Exhibition flyer(PDF:1MB)

Date May 16 – July 9, 2017
Hours 10:00-17:00 (Last admission 16:30)
Closed Mondays
Admission Adults 1,030 (820) yen, University students 720 (620) yen,
High school students and seniors [65 and over] 510 (410) yen
*Figures in parentheses: Advance purchase and groups of 30 or more
*Junior high school students and younger: Free admission
Organized by Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, The Chugoku Shimbun
Supported by Hiroshima Prefecture, Hiroshima Municipal Board of Education, Hiroshima FM Broad Casting Co., Ltd.,
Onomichi FM Broad Casting Co., Ltd.
In collaboration with Kyoto Institute of Technology Museum and Archives,
Research Group for Architectural Drawings of Togo Murano,
Catholic Diocese of Hiroshima
In cooperation with MURANO design, IDÉE Co., Ltd.

Memorial Cathedral for World Peace, photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Memorial Cathedral for World Peace, photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Memorial Cathedral for World Peace, drawing
Elevation study AN.4996-92
Scale: 1:200
From the collection of Kyoto Institute of Technology Museum and Archives

Memorial Cathedral for World Peace, photo by Kenichi Hanada

Osaka New Kabuki Theater (1958), model
Scale: 1:200
Produced by & from the collection of Hiroaki Kimura & Hiroshi Matsukuma Laboratory, Kyoto Institute of Technology
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Chiyoda Mutual Life Insurance Company (currently Meguro City Office Complex; 1996, renovated 2003), model
Scale: 1:200
Produced by & from the collection of Hiroaki Kimura & Hiroshi Matsukuma Laboratory, Kyoto Institute of Technology
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa