St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo
 Great Buildings  Search  Advanced  Buildings  Architects  Types  Places  3D Models  Pix  Archiplanet   ArchitectureWeek  
Architect Kenzo Tange
Subscribers - login to skip ads
Location Tokyo, Japan   map
Date 1963   timeline
Building Type church
 Construction System concrete
Climate temperate
Context urban
Style Modern
Notes Up-sweeping hyperbolic paraboloid roofs.


Photo, exterior overview with swooping roofs.


Plan Drawing

Section Drawing

Elevation Drawing

Plan Drawing

Section Drawing

Site Plan Drawing




Discussion St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo Commentary

"The plan of the building is in the form of a cross, from which the walls, eight hyperbolic parabolas, rise up at an angle. These open upwards to form a cross of light which continues vertically the length of the four facades. To this rhomboid volume other secondary constructions are added, their rectangular volumes contrasting with the symbolic character of the cathedral with which they communicate by way of pathways and platforms. The baptistry and the baptismal font are among these secondary buildings. The bell tower is 60 m in height and stands at a little distance from the cathedral proper, whose interior is finished in exposed concrete. The exterior surfaces are clad in stainless steel, which gives them a special radiance in keeping with the religious character of the building."

— Udo Kultermann. Kenzo Tange: Works and Projects. p175.

The Creator's Words

"Architectural creation is a special form of comprehending reality. It works upon and transforms reality through the construction of a substantial object of use. The artistic form of this object, on the other hand, has the two-fold quality of both mirroring and enriching reality. This understanding of reality which takes place through architectural creation requires that the anatomy of reality, its substantial and spiritual structure, be grasped as a whole..."

— Kenzo Tange. from Robin Boyd. Kenzo Tange. p113.

Sources on St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo

"Two International Masters", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 235, 2005.0413, pN1.1.

Robin Boyd. Kenzo Tange. New York: George Braziller, 1962. NA1559.T33B6. LC 62-16267. p113.

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. transformation diagram, p208. — Updated edition available at

The Hyatt Foundation. The Pritzker Architecture Prize 1987: Presented to Kenzo Tange. Osamu Murai, photographs. The Hyatt Foundation, 1987. color photo of interior, p7.

Udo Kultermann. Kenzo Tange: Works and Projects. First spanish/english edition. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, S.A., 1989. ISBN 84-252-1400-9. NA1559.T33K83 1989. p175.

Udo Kultermann, ed. Kenzo Tange, Architecture and Urban Design, 1946-1969. Text by Kenzo Tange and Udo Kultermann. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970. Black and white aerial photo of Cathedral, p188.

Paolo Riani. Kenzo Tange. London, New York. The Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1970. Color plate, f46.

Dennis Sharp. Twentieth Century Architecture: a Visual History. New York: Facts on File, 1990. ISBN 0-8160-2438-3. NA680.S517. exterior photo, small section drawing, p259. — Available at

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo


Web Resources
Links on St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo

St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

We appreciate your  suggestions  for links about St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo.

 Great Buildings  Search   Model Viewing Tips   DW   Discussion   Blogs   Books   Archiplanet   ArchitectureWeek  
Subscribe free to weekly design and building newsletters by ArchitectureWeek

Quick Search by name of Building, Architect, or Place:   
Examples:  "Fallingwater",  "Wright",  "Paris"       Advanced Search
Send this to a friend | Contribute | Subscribe | Link | Credits | Media Kit | Photo Licensing | Suggestions

Special thanks to our sustaining subscribers including, and Saniflo Upflush.

© 1994-2013 Artifice, Inc. All Rights Reserved.