The Marine City projects by Kiyonori Kikutake, designed between 1958 and 1963, are the first and most influential proposals to build ‘Megastructures’ into the sea after the dissolution of C.I.A.M. They include two basic types: the ‘Floating Structure’ as a concentric and city-scale type, and the ‘Linear Ocean City’ as a linear and national-scale type.
Marine City Technical Information
- Architects: Kiyonori Kikutake
- Location: Tokyo, Japan
- Typology: Urban Planing
- Style: Metabolism
- Project Year: 1958 – 1963
- Drawings: © Kiyonori Kikutake
Contrary to the architecture of the past, contemporary architecture must be capable of responding to the changing needs of the contemporary era.– Kiyonori Kikutake
Marine City Photographs
Tokyo Marine City History
The Japanese architect Kiyonori Kikutake, a core member of the ‘Metabolism’ group, proposed his original idea of ‘Marine City’ in 1959, and its concept widely spread through the publication of “Metabolism 1960”. According to the manifesto, ‘Marine City’ is “a unit” of a “new human community in the sea,” an answer to the decreasing living standard and the unstable political and social situation due to the limitation of land.
However, “the purpose of Marine City is neither intended to enlarge the land nor to escape from the land,” but ‘Marine City’ is instead considered a new urban archetype for living on the sea. The original idea was followed by several projects that Kikutake summarized retrospectively in a later publication. He positioned ‘Marine City’ among ‘Megastructure’ proposals because he attempted to integrate architecture with the scale of the city.
However, “the purpose of Marine City is neither intended to enlarge the land nor to escape from the land,” but ‘Marine City’ is instead considered a new urban archetype for living on the sea.
The project presented in 1958 was a floating industrial city with a circular shape, with a diameter of 4 km. At the periphery of the town, twelve spherical industrial facilities, approximately 1,000,000 m2 of total area, were located. They were parts of the “kombinat,” the “mother’s body” of an evolving industrial city.
For the dwelling, six cylindrical towers were “delivered out” “from the plant city.” On the concrete towers’ inner walls, individual living units would be installed alternately to accommodate a population of 50,000 under the sea. With a control tower at the center, the city would offer “stereo-space for the human community on the surface.” After the first proposal, Kikutake presented three other projects that expanded the ideas of the first proposal.
Marine City Plans
Marine City Image Gallery
About Kiyonori Kikutake
For more than half a century, visionary architect Kiyonori Kikutake (1928–2011) pursued Metabolic architecture, embracing renewal, recycling, and transformation forces. Following the debut of his Sky House and his urban proposals at the 1959 C.I.A.M. (Congrès Internationale d’Architecture Moderne) Conference in Otterloo in the Netherlands, Kikutake became a leading voice of Metabolism. The architectural movement was launched at the 1960 World Design Conference in Tokyo.
Other works from Kiyonori Kikutake