In 1946 Founding of Azusa Architects Office
Azusa was founded in 1946 as a limited partnership company by Fuminaga Kiyota, who had worked for the Ministry of Communication and then for Imperial Japanese Airways, the predecessor of Japan Airlines. In the midst of postwar chaos, the firm was headquartered at Mr. Kiyota’s home in Nakano-ku, Tokyo, headed by him as its first president, and joined by six other members.
The word “Azusa” in our name reflects Mr. Kiyota’s passion for architecture. He wished the firm to be steady and graceful while showing dignity and strong resolve, just like a tree of azusa (catalpa).
When Mr. Kiyota chose the name of the firm, he did not include his own because of his believe at the time that the raison d’être of a corporate architectural firm was the sustained fulfillment of its social responsibility in the field of architecture as a corporate citizen.
This belief of the founder has been passed down to us who work on architectural projects today.
1960s Azusa: A Pioneer in Airport Design
In 1952, the Allied occupation forces returned to the Japanese government a part of the Tokyo Airfield, which was renamed the Tokyo International Airport. Azusa’s reputation as a pioneer in airport design dates back to this period when our founder Fuminaga Kiyota was involved in designing the Tokyo International Airport.
During World War II, Mr. Kiyota published a two-volume book titled Kuko to sono kenchiku (Airports and their architecture), which is still considered the bible to Japanese architects designing airports.
In 1957, the Japan Airlines Operation Center was completed. In parallel with the growth of the air transport industry, Azusa designed an increasing number of large hangars and air-traffic control towers. The first airport terminal building it designed was that of the Kokura Airport completed in February 1962. Then, the year 1969 saw the completion of the Fukuoka Airport Terminal 1 Building that was equipped with Japan’s first boarding bridge.
Azusa has designed numerous facilities at most of the major airports in Japan, earning a reputation as a pioneer in airport design.
1970s Rapid Economic Growth and Business Expansion
Triggered by the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Japan entered a period of rapid economic growth.
Having grown into a firm with more than 300 employees over the years, we were renamed “Azusa Sekkei Co., Ltd.” in 1973. It was also around this time that Azusa established an Overseas Division (presently International Division).
We were increasingly involved in designing large public facilities, such as the NHK Broadcasting Center and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ Forestry and Forest Products Institute main building. As we steadily expanded our business field, our involvement in national and other public hospitals began increasing.
1980s Azusa Sports
In the 1980s, we started participating in a number of sports facility projects, such as large arenas, swimming pools, and stadiums. Drawing on our world-class technology and expertise, we have grown into Japan’s top architectural firm in the fields of sports facilities as well as airports.
Recently, in partnership with GL Events of France, we have launched the business of designing low-cost stadiums and arenas that offer outstanding efficiency, flexibility, and scalability, using steel-frame unit seating systems.
1990s Expansion into Large Airport Terminal and Redevelopment Projects
Backed by the growing social demand for upgraded and more advanced urban functions, our redevelopment business entered a new stage with a one-stop service spanning consultations, urban planning, environmental assessments, and rights coordination. We have since accumulated experience and expertise in urban development and redevelopment, by working on large projects in such districts as Ofuna Station east, Shinkoyasu west, Kitasenju Station west, and Shirogane 1-chome east.
At the same time, with booming air travel, we began participating in the expansion of major airports, most notably the Haneda Airport Terminal 1 and the New Tokyo International Airport Passenger Terminal 2. The 1990s was the period in which we significantly increased our share in Japan’s airport terminal market.
In2017 New National Stadium
All stadiums and arenas to be built, including the new National Stadium, are expected to secure high profitability, play a central role in the local economy, prompt development in neighboring areas, and serve as the core of the local community. As such, these facilities are essential for us to live a healthier and more prosperous life.
Every single one of us at Azusa will do our utmost to contribute to nurturing sports culture and developing the sports business in Japan with an eye to the era after Tokyo 2020.