004 Kosuge Prison
- The Ministry Justice (Shigeo KAMBARA)
- Self Build
- On a large site in Katsu-shika, in Tokyo, stands a modern prison complex built in 1929. The prison administrative office complex consists of office wings and a control/ observation/ clock tower. Shigeo Kambara, a young in-house architect in the Ministry of Justice, designed the complex. While the frontal view evokes an image of a bird with wings spread, the composition is the last specimen of the Japanese expressionism, since the movement that had begun in the early 1920's ended around the end of that decade, about the same time as the construction of this building. The complex was constructed in reinforced concrete, still a relatively new construction method at the time in Japan, with a cleverly developed foundation system to counter poor soil conditions of the site. Although the complex was built in the era of not really democratic socio-political condition in Japan, this work of Kambara surely belongs to a kind of architecture with a particular virtue that illustrates another facet of the early phase of Japanese modernism. The administrative office building was repainted in its original color, pastel light water green in 1983.