In 1970, Japanese architect Kenzo Tange completed the Olivetti Technical Centre and Warehouse in Yokohama, which is now an example of Japanese Brutalist Architecture.
Olivetti Technical Centre and Warehouse Technical Information
- Architects: Kenzo Tange
- Location: Yokohama, Japan
- Type: Warehouse
- Topics: Concrete, Brutalism
- Client: Olivetti Typewriter Company
- Project Year: 1970
After experiencing their grandeur, trying to reach the sky, and their ineffably mystical spaces, I began to imagine new spaces, and I wanted to create them using modern technology.
– Kenzo Tange
Olivetti Technical Center and Warehouse Photographs
Olivetti Technical Centre and Warehouse
From the 1940s to the 1970s, the Italian-based Olivetti Typewriter Company was renowned for its design. It purchased the American Underwood Typewriter Company in 1959 and ultimately merged to form Olivetti-Underwood in 1963.
The company’s offices and showrooms frequently exalted modernist architecture, furniture, and painting collection. Carlo Scarpa designed the Olivetti Showroom in Venice’s Piazzo San Marco (1956-1958), Kenzo Tange the Olivetti Technical Centre, and Warehouse in Yokohama, Tokyo (1970), and James Stirling the Olivetti Training Centre in Haslemere, Surrey (the U.K., 1973).
Olivetti’s Paris shop was adorned with Paul Klee’s Spettro di Guerriero (1930); the Rome shop on Via del Tritone with Renato Guttuso’s Boogie-Woogie (1953).
Among the architects employed by Olivetti at the end of the fifties to plan factories and workshops was Le Corbusier. Le Corbusier’s project was carried out in two phases between 1961 and 1962, but it was never completed. On the threshold of the seventies, another master of contemporary architecture, Louis Kahn, worked in collaboration with Olivetti, planning the factory at Harrisburg in Pennsylvania (1967-70).
All these projects represent an exciting cross-fertilization between the technical knowledge of the factory’s production and the architectural culture.