||The first RC architecture to be designated
an Important Cultural Property
handsome house surrounded by green and standing on a small
hill the Ashiya River in Hyogo Prefecture, "YODOKO Guest
House" is one of the valuable works left in Japan by
Wright, a master artist. This building was designed to be
Yamamura's second house when Wright came to Japan to design
the old Imperial Hotel in 1915.
Although he left Japan in 1922, his assistant, Arata Endo
and Makoto Minami carried out experimental construction. The
actual construction work was started in 1923, and the roof-raising
ceremony was held in February 1924.
After completion, the building was used as the Yamamura's
second house. In 1947, it was purchased by YODOGAWA STEEL
WORKS,LTD.who was looking for an official residence for the
company president. In later years, it was also used as an
apartment building for single employees.
In May 1974, keeping the original appearance of the architecture
designed by Wright, the building was designated the first
RC architecture Important Cultural Property.
||Novel among Wright's architectural
Wright came to Japan, he had already achieved high repute
as a young, home-building architect in America. He had handled
a number of "prairie house," which have an architectural
style of harmony with nature, and his works in Japan are based
upon this style, with such representative pieces as Jiyu Gakuen
Myonichikan and the old Imperial Hotel. YODOKO Guest House,
however, has a different style, which is that of a rare RC-built
residence with the design purpose of providing relief from
the heat. The building has the reputation of being a unique
masterpiece among the works spanning Wright's career.
||Over a half a century and the earthquake
||Even the solid RC built Guest House could not avoid damage
and wear over time, and, starting in 1985, three years of
intensive restoration work was carried out. On January 17,
1995, however, Wright's valuable building suffered damage
again from the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Although the unprecedented
repair work for the RC-built Cultural Asset started in 1995
required a great amount of effort and cooperation from those
involved, repair was completed after three years. The architectural
work by the master artist again made its beautiful presence
known to us.
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