Hiroshima/ Influence of CIAM in the planning of Memorial Peace Park

The principles of Congres Internationaux d`Architecture Moderne (CIAM) were always revolutionary, which brought a whole new level of rethinking architecture and urbanism. It placed a huge significance in addressing the biological, psychological and social needs of the working masses. Although CIAM was concentrated in Europe, it provided a great influence to architects and planners globally, and one of them was Kenzo Tange in the Memorial Peace Park Project.

When one look closely at the Memorial Peace Park Project, the ideals linked to social, cultural and political context of the site are related to the ones in CIAM. The Peace Park project was a symbol of shift in cultural and social values. Hiroshima, who attained the role of a military city before the war, completely shifted its cultural and social values to a “Peace” city after the war.

CIAM 4 placed its focus onto the notion of “functional city”. Both the ideas of the functional city and urban planning ideas “Athens Charters” that were emerged from CIAM 4 influenced Tange in his planning of the park. These functionalist ideas were taken into a new level by Tange, as he used the opportunity to merge a few of the functionalist ideas and those of Japanese architecture and urbanism.

The functional city that was focusing on the time period of post war, brought up the significance of rational organization of a city, where clear and simple division of a city should be established.

The site of pre war, post war and present day of Memorial Peace Park
Figure 1: The site of pre war, post war and present day of Memorial Peace Park

Image reference: Chown, Christopher; The Metabolist Movement and Postwar Japan

Figure one clearly shows the difference in the city organization before and after the war. Historically, the city was organized in an organic manner, which consisted mainly of houses and temples. After the war, The value of the incorporation of nature as well as the division of zones was brought into the planning of the park and the city after the war. These values are the recognition of the one in the functional city and the objectives laid out by the CIAM.


1. Chown, Christopher; The Metabolist Movement and Postwar Japan

2. Ishimaru, Norioki; Changes in Planning Zone of Hiroshima Peace Memorial park Proposed by Kenzo Tange and its Significance.


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