Black and white photograph of the Kaigan Building in Kobe, which has a modern towerblock rising from an early 20th Century classical facade

The Kaigan Building, Kobe

Ross Hall

December 23, 2021
(Updated on December 17, 2021)

This building has always fascinated me. It seems a fitting symbol for Kobe: the modern rising out of the foundations of the classical.

The original building was constructed in 1918 for Mitsui Corporation. The architect – Kawai Kōzō – designed a number of buildings around Kobe. If you look closely you can see echoes and hints of his designs around the city.

When the Great Hanshin Earthquake devastated Kobe in 1995, the building didn’t survive. Rather than give up such striking architecture, the facade was recovered and became the base of the new 15 storey tower block that rose in its place.

I'm Ross, a digital editorial designer and content creator from the UK now living in Japan. I help growing companies plan, source, produce and promote a range of content. Find out more

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