Preservation and Restoration of the International House of Japan





Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


The International House of Japan (I-House) in Tokyo is a non-governmental organization that has promoted rich international intellectual exchanges. Designed by three young, up-and-coming architects Kunio Maekawa, Junzo Sakakura, and Junzo Yoshimura, the building of I-House in an exquisite modern Japanese style was built in 1955, but due to financial difficulties, the building was threatened with demolition. The Architectural Institute of Japan scrambled to assemble a special panel to present a conservation plan in 2004. Ultimately, the Board of Trustees decided to follow the panel’s proposal. This paper introduces the process of the restoration activities, discusses what were the driving forces of the preservation and restoration actions, and gives some lessons from the project.

How to Cite

Kobayashi, M. (2015). Preservation and Restoration of the International House of Japan. Docomomo Journal, (52), 54–59.




Author Biography

Masami Kobayashi, Meiji University

(b. 1954, Tokyo). Master of Design Studies (GSD, Harvard University, 1988), Ph.D. (University of Tokyo, 1989). Professor of Meiji University, Japan. Principal of Archi-Media Architects & Associates. teaching scholar and active architect/urban designer, who pursues new strategies to mitigate the preservation of our natural/built environment, envisioning our promising future life. Worked at Kenzo Tange Associates (1979–1985).


KOBAYASHI Masami, “The Reevaluation of Public Open Space in the Inner-City of Tokyo”, The 7th International Congress of APSA, Hanoi, 2003, p. 3–88.

KOBAYASHI Masami, “An Evaluation Report of the Joint Academic Program of Tokyo Inner-City Project”, The 7th International Congress of APSA, Hanoi, 2003, p. 3–89.

KOBAYASHI Masami, Tokyo Regeneration, Tokyo Inner City Project, Gakugei Shuppan, Japan, 2003.