2012 WMF/Knoll Modernism Prize Awarded to Hizuchi Elementary School in Japan
World Monuments Fund awarded its 2012 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize to the Architectural Consortium for Hizuchi Elementary School for their restoration of Hizuchi Elementary School in Hizuchi, shop Yawatahama City, prescription Ehime Prefecture, remedy on Shikoku Island, Japan.
Following serious damage from a 2004 typhoon, the school had been the center of a two-year debate over whether to demolish or preserve the structure. The WMF/Knoll Modernism Prize is the only award to acknowledge threats facing modern buildings, and to recognize the architects and designers who help ensure their rejuvenation and survival.
The biennial award will be presented at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, on November 13, 2012.
Hizuchi Elementary School has been long admired by the Japanese architectural community for its distinctively functionalist modern design, created by the once little-known but now esteemed Japanese municipal architect Masatsune Matsumura (1913–1993) and completed between 1956 and 1958. Matsumura trained under Tsuchiura Kameki, who, as a student, worked with Frank Lloyd Wright on the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo in 1921, and studied and worked in Los Angeles and at Taliesin from 1922 to 1925.
In 1999, DOCOMOMO identified Hizuchi Elementary School as one of the twenty most representative modern buildings in Japan.