By ERENA TANAKA/ Staff Writer
September 16, 2021 at 19:19 JST
KYOTO--Kyoto University announced it will rebuild the former home of physicist Hideki Yukawa in Kyoto with world-acclaimed architect Tadao Ando in charge of the design.
Yukawa, a professor at the university, became the first Japanese Nobel laureate in 1949 and spent his last quarter-century in the Kyoto residence.
“Yukawa had spent time alone with his thoughts while seeing a wonderful garden in his house and discussed some ideas with guests from around the world,” Kyoto University President Nagahiro Minato said at a Sept. 15 news conference, speaking about the project.
“We would like to make it a place where his dying wishes will be passed on from generation to generation.”
“Yukawa gave pride and hope to people struggling to survive in Japan following its devastation in World War II,” Ando said. “Now we are hanging our heads amid the pandemic, but through his great achievement we can think of Japan's future and the importance of science, technology and the arts."
Major construction firm Haseko Corp. purchased the house and donated it to the university at the end of August.
The former residence, built in 1933, is a two-story wooden structure with a tile roof and earthen walls.
Kyoto University was consulted by Yukawa's relatives over the sale of his house, and Ando introduced Haseko to the university.
The rebuilt house to be designed by Tadao Ando Architect & Associates will be constructed by Haseko free of charge. Most of the work will be done on the main building, which is severely deteriorated.
The garden, stone fence and gate will be strengthened and preserved from the viewpoint of a townscape.
After the construction work is completed, expected in 2023, the university is considering using the updated house as an accommodation or meeting place for researchers from Japan and other countries where they can exchange ideas.
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