Ube City Public Hall (Watanabe Memorial Hall)
- Togo MURANO
- Ube city had been a home for Ube Industries, a major coal mining company. To celebrate its 40 years as an industry leader, and to recognize the company’s contributions to the thriving industrial area of Ube, Ube Industries with its 6 affiliates donated the cultural complex in honor of its founder, Yusaku Watanabe in 1937. It was designed by Togo Murano in a fan-shaped plan in a meticulously symmetrical order with axial composition of its elements; i.e., from the rear, the backstage/ stage area, then, the seating arena area, through the lobby/ foyer area, to the expansive outdoor open space in front. The bronze statue of the founder, Watanabe, in center, along with the 3 free standing columns on each side symbolizing the 6 affiliated companies, are placed along the curvature of the outer circumference of the elevated pavement in the fan-shaped open space. By facing the numerous thick columns with marble and paving the floor with terrazzo in a checkerboard black and white pattern in the lobby/ foyer area, Murano successfully created a captivating space that fits well with the celebrating character of the complex, all without the use of classical decorative styles.