Yoji Watanabe

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Japanese architect.
There is no other architect who is suitable for the title “crazy architect”……



Yoji Watanabe

[1923 – 1983]
Birth date 1923 (Taisho 12 years) June 14
Niigata Prefecture Naoetsu Town, Japan
Death of November 2, 1983 (full death of 60 years old)
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Nationality Japan
Niigata Prefectural Takada Kogyo School
Professional architect
Watanabe Architectural Office
Architect Itoigawa Yoshitsuguji
Dragon’s fort · Lingzaki residence
Iron Mansion (3rd Sky Building)

New Sky Building No. 3 / Warship Mansion(GUNKAN MANSION)







The official name is GUNKAN Higashi Shinjuku Building. This building was designed by Mr. Yoji Watanabe who is a crazy architect, a heretic architect and leaves a name in Japanese architectural history. Designed with a “warship” as a motif, such as a framed body painted on silver, a laterally raised water tower, and a room divided into units, is commonly referred to as a warship apartment.


Mr. Watanabe has handed down a number of distinctive design buildings that have a background of Army ship military originality and are suspected of its influence. This building, as his masterpiece work, reigns in the city of Shinjuku for 40 years.

The interior is in a skeleton state from the original design, and it is assumed that the tenant will be refurbished. Please submit renewal details to the building owner in advance in the drawing and obtain renovation work after gaining approval.

In line with the atmosphere of the whole building, I personally hope that you can finish it like a battleship-like interior.
Watanabe was born in 1923 in Joetsu and studied until 1941 at the Takada College of Technology. This was followed by a working day at Nihon, a steel company, until he was hired in 1947 by Kume and Partner. Until 1959 he studied a second time at the Waseda University in the Yoshisaka Studio in Tokyo, and subsequently founded his own architecture office. After the collapse of the CIAM, he took up the ideas of metabolism and emphasized the high density, the prefabrication of individual elements and the possibility to extend his designs as desired. Thus, designs such as ‘Habitat 70’, a response to the suburban area ‘Habitat 67’ by Mosche Safdie, which he condensed and placed in an urban context. His most famous building is probably the ‘New Sky Building No.3’ (1970, Tokyo), which is built to a high extent of steel and is the only surviving building of its Sky Buildings. The residential and office building in the Shinjuku district, similar to a battleship, also has a high proportion of prefabricated elements and is reminiscent of the capsule architecture of Kisho Kurokawa, but does not achieve its flexibility.


Zendo Temple (1961) Itoigawa

House Nishida (1968) Tokyo


Opera House Competition / Unbuild


Gozilla Building / Demolished



Reyner Banham, Hiroyuki Suzuki: Modern building in Japan. DVA, Stuttgart 1987, ISBN 3-421-02882-6.
further reading:
The architecture of Youji Watanabe, 1985, ISBN 4-7869-0055-9
Japanese name order Japanese name: As usual in Japan, this article is the surname before the first name. Thus, Watanabe is the surname, Yōji is the first name.

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