The Kagawa Prefectural Government Office East Building (formerly the main building), is said to be the representative work of Tange Kenzo’s early career. Tange Kenzo was the first Japanese architect to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered to be the Nobel Prize of the architectural world. Blending modernist architecture with traditional Japanese elements, this building is praised as one of the most important works in the history of architecture.
The modern exterior, with its use of concrete to emulate the posts and beams of traditional Japanese architecture, and the welcoming atmosphere that overturned the authoritative feel of public office buildings common in the day, are both defining features of this building. When the old Kagawa Prefectural Government Office Building was destroyed in a fire during World War II, the governor at the time made the following requests for the design of the new building—it should be “fitting for the main building of tourism in Kagawa” and “fitting for government offices in the age of democracy”. Tange designed the East Building (former main building) with these requests in mind. The open design of the lobby, with its use of columns and glass that naturally create an inviting atmosphere for visitors, became the model for post-war government buildings.