002 Sumitomo Building
- Sumitomo Eizen Design Office (Eikichi HASEBE, Kenzo TAKEKOSHI)
- On a site in central Osaka, stands one of the prime examples of early modern office buildings in Japan. It is the headquarters for Sumitomo, one of the major conglomerates of Japan. The objective in design was to demonstrate the fluency in the European architectural historic styles, (i.e., the assimilation of which by Japanese architects was a long sought ambition since the Meiji era), while at the same time, to disclose developing buds of the architectural aesthetics of the modern movement. The five-story bank/ office building has a parti of two internal light courts. The bank interior affords a distinguished three-level atrium space defined by 31 Italian travertine Corinthian columns. By contrast, the exterior facade, composed in a flat and thick wall made of ivory color Ryuzan stone with the systematically aligned orthogonal window cutouts, imparts the modern austere look almost like that of rationalism. When most of the banks preferred the classical architectural style for their buildings, it is significant to note that the new architectural concept based upon the aesthetics of the modern architecture was considered, at least for the outside, appropriate for the headquarters of the major conglomerate.