Shinwa Bank Headquarters Complex
- Seiichi SHIRAI
- Takenaka Corporation
- Located on a narrow street in central Sasebo, is the Shinwa Bank Headquarters complex. It is made up with 3 distinctive structures built in 3 phases in 1966, ‘69 and ‘75 (of which the phases I and II were chosen as part of the docomomo 100). It is a major representative work of architect Sei-ichi Shirai in his prime, who also was a respected philosopher and poet. On the right is the phase I structure with the cantilevered mass of white travertine stone above and the recessed ground level in black granite. The phase II building on the left has a gentle curve with the solid stone base in white and the similarly curved monolithic black mass in aluminum panels. Shirai chose to achieve a particular kind of architectural aesthetics; i.e., a tight counterbalance of correlation drafted by the contrasts between the various different things, items or even ideas, put deliberately together or juxtaposed in the composition of spaces. The phase III building, known as the Kaisho-Kan was completed in 1975 to form the current configuration. As the complex continues to be used attentively today, it still vividly retains the intensity of the original look, including the interior details.