(Re)discovering Tokyo Through Concrete Works of Art

26.11.2018

Courtesy of Blue​ ​Crow Media

Wander through the streets of Tokyo, map in hand, and discover its concrete wonders: that’s the promise of the Concrete Tokyo Map. This bilingual (English and Japanese) mini guide invites locals and tourists alike to discover Tokyo through fifty of its most magnificent concrete constructions. It’s one of a collection of maps that explore the world’s major cities through their architecture, from Sydney to Paris via New York, Berlin and Chicago.

To create this Japanese version, the publisher Blue Crow Media appealed to Naomi Pollock, an adoptive Tokyoite. This American architect and author, a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Tokyo, made it her mission to catalogue her city’s most remarkable concrete edifices (including works by Le Corbusier, Tadao Ando and Kenzo Tange among others).

In an impassioned introduction which accompanies the map, Naomi Pollock celebrates this “living and expressive” material and reminds the reader in passing of the importance of concrete in the “rebirth” of Japan after the devastation caused by World War II. Photographer Jimmy Cohrssen also adds his expert eye: his monochrome images present the collection in all its glory.

The result of their joint project is a small object that’s practical, unique and versatile: it can be tucked in a pocket or even displayed at home. It’s perfect for Tokyo lovers, architecture enthusiasts and all those who, in this Google Maps era, want to enjoy the all too rare sensation of unfolding a physical map.

Courtesy of Blue​ ​Crow Media

Courtesy of Blue​ ​Crow Media

©​Jimmy​ ​Cohrssen​ ​for​ ​Blue​ ​Crow Media

©​Jimmy​ ​Cohrssen​ ​for​ ​Blue​ ​Crow Media

©​Jimmy​ ​Cohrssen​ ​for​ ​Blue​ ​Crow Media