Dojunkai Aoyama demolition

Demolition has begun on the Dojunkai Aoyama apartments, beautiful old buildings mostly vacant, lining a stretch of Omotesando. The Japanese abhor anything old; old, slightly decrepit, and beautiful is even worse. Down it goes to be replaced by some glass box with 6 floors underground.

Jean Snow has a lovely photo of the apartments on his site.

aoyama_apt_01 aoyama_apt_02

13 thoughts on “Dojunkai Aoyama demolition

  1. Thanks for the mention. It is sad, as they pretty much created the atmosphere that people recognize as “Omotesando.” Lets just hope that the Tadao Ando design that will replace it will manage to keep that same feel.

  2. These building were the “athlete’s village” for the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. So much of the city we know today is based on the urban planning done for the games–the Shuto monstrosities, Yoyogikoen, the shinkansen. And of course, all of the venues scattered around the city and suburbs. The World Cup preparations don’t hold a candle to the changes Tokyo made for the Olympics.

  3. Is that a … SKULL in the foreground, center, to the right of the light blue jacket (or whatever that piece of fabric is)!?
    (Found you via a link over at Leslie Harpold’s, in case you’re wondering.)

  4. That was a skull, but looked like a plastic one. It had a plastic lizard next to it. Can’t begin to understand the meaning/symbolism.

  5. Even if I like the work of Tadao Ando, the green atmosphere will not be re-created like that, it will take years… hmm if the demolition is not finished when i arrive the 27th of May, I’ll do some pictures. Where is the exact location?

  6. Jeez,
    Those were very charming apartments, wish i’d taken more photos when I was there. Pisses me off it does >|(

  7. It must be heart-breaking for the construction workers to have to break apart the building. I’d be cringing the whole way…

  8. I first heard of the Aoyama Apartments at an architectural exhibition in 2001 and was thrilled to actually see them during the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Harajuku in March 2002. How sad that those pioneering ferro-concrete monuments are gone! I rememer the bannisters worn from nearly 80 years of daily comings and goings and how there was a gap at the bottom of one of the old wooden front doors.

  9. Everybody keeps telling the Japanese what is good for them, why dont you shut up. Stop projecting your own culture on the Japanese people, and instead realize what you can learn from theim.

  10. I did my architectural thesis on the Dojunkai-Harajuku Apartment site and I was hoping that it would be built oneday. I guess it can never happen now…Oh, well, so much for pipe dreams…

  11. I’m looking for Kanako Suzuki who was a student at St. John’s Preparatory School in St. Cloud, Minnesota in the 1990s.
    Mary Tyrrell

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