St. Mary's Cathedral (東京カテドラル聖マリア大聖堂 Tōkyō Katedoraru Sei Maria Daiseidō) is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tokyo. It is located in the Sekiguchi neighborhood of Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan.
The original structure of 1899 was a wooden building in the Gothic style. It was burned during World War II. The present church, designed by Tange Kenzo, dates from 1964. Kenzo Tange won the competition for the reconstruction of this church in 1961. It was built with assistance from Wilhelm Schlombs, architect to the Archdiocese of Cologne, the engineer Yoshikatsu Tsuboi, who worked with Tange on many of his projects and the Zurich architect Max Lechner.
The plan of the building is in the form of a cross, from which eight hyperbolic parabolas rise in a manner similar to a contemporary (but slightly later) landmark cathedral in San Francisco, also known as St. Mary's Cathedral. 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, including the baptistry and the baptismal font. Their rectangular volumes contrast with the symbolic character of the cathedral. The bell tower is 60 m in height and stands at a little distance from the main building of the cathedral. The exterior surfaces are clad in stainless steel, which gives them a special radiance in keeping with the religious character of the building.
Categories: Religious - Christianity