Hiroshima/1946-1955/Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Memorial Park Design Competition

The Hiroshima government implemented the “Hiroshima Post-war Restoration Plan” in 1946. Nakashima, the central place of the atomic bomb attack, was the heart of the plan. The restoration plan was structured in three main aspects:

  1. Restoring the street (infrastructure);
  2. Restoring the green land (appearance of the city); and
  3. Restoring the facilities (public utilities).

Under these requirements, the Hiroshima Memorial Park Design Competition was held in 1948. (1)

Kenzo Tange won the competition by the concept of turning Nakashima into a “the core of the city”, meaning not only reconstruction of the city but also the city revival in cultural aspect. Therefore, community center and various cultural facilities were the core part of Kenzo Tange’s proposal.

In fact, the proposal by Kenzo Tange was deeply influenced by the CIAM 1945, by the Urbanization de Saint-Die city reconstruction plan by Le Corbusier, which was also having “le noyau de a Ville”, i.e. the core of the city, as the reconstruction theme. In the plan, government center and different cultural and public facilities were put into a cluster to form a city center. We can see the same attempt in Kenzo Tange’s Peace Park plan: the clock tower, government center, community center, library and restaurants scatters around the atomic bomb dome.

capture4   [Le Corbusier’ de Saint-Die city reconstruction plan] (2)

capture [Kenzo Tage’ Peace Park plan] (3)


Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum


[Current elevation view] (4)

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was built in 1955. It has three divisions in total: the middle building was the display room of the museum which shows the “material witness” of the bomb attack; the West Wing was a government conference center; and the East Wing was the main museum body which concentrates on the damage of the bomb.



Genbaku Dome (Atomic bomb dome)


[Interior view] (4)

The dome is the building located in the hypocenter of the bomb attack which remained standing with only ruined skeleton.

As a historical witness that conveys the tragedy of suffering the first atomic bomb in human history and as a symbol that vows to faithfully seek the abolition of nuclear weapons and everlasting world peace, Genbaku Dome was added to the World Heritage List in accordance with the “Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention).” (5)

The Genbaku Dome is now on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage.


(1) Tange Kenzō and Fujimori Terunobu, Tange Kenzō (Tokyo: Shinkenchicu-Sha, 2002), 74-113.

(2) Le Corbusier, W. Boesiger ed., Oeuvre complete 1938-1946, Les Editions D’architecture, Artemis, Zurich, 1946, p.139.

(3) Tange, Kenzō. Kenchiku to Toshi: Dezain Oboegaki. Tōkyō: Shōkokusha, 1970

(4) “Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.” HIROSHIMA PEACE SITE. Accessed December 09, 2016. http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/index2.html.

(5) Kosakai, Yoshiteru. Hiroshima Peace Reader (13 ed.). Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. pp. 56–59.



1. “Kokusaisei, fūdōsei, kokuminsei: Gendai kenchiku no zōkei o” megutte,” Kokusai Kenchiku 20, no. 3 . 1953

3. Kenzō Tange, “Kompe no jidai,” interview in Fujimori Terunobu, Kenchiku Zasshi 100, no. 1229 . 1985


2 Comments on “Hiroshima/1946-1955/Peace Memorial Park

  1. It was clear background about the restoration plan of peace memorial park, it could be easily understood the layout plan of the park. However, I am curious about the design concepts and detail designs of the park, just like what is the meaning behind the museum design concept, is there any specials inside the park? Sometimes Architecture can tell story, even can teach people. I believe that there should be some meaningful installations inside the park, so it could bring out the core message, peaceful, to everyone.

  2. Although you have mentioned briefly on Tange’s influence from Le Corbusier’s works, it will be worthwhile to expand on how Tange has combined Le Corbusier’s “Piloti” with Japanese architecture to the Modern style building. There are much more to the designing of shapes and modular arrangement of the facade where he strives to express the solidarity of human kind as well as symbolising a commitment to peace.

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