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Hiroshima: Visitors Flock to Unique Fire Station Designed by Pritzker Winner; Completely glass building

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Hiroshima Nishi Fire Station in Nishi Ward, Hiroshima

HIROSHIMA – A unique fire station with a glass exterior in Hiroshima is attracting the attention of tourists.

The Hiroshima Nishi Fire Station building was designed by famous architect Riken Yamamoto.

Since it was announced in March that he had won the Pritzker Architecture Prize, widely considered the architectural equivalent of a Nobel Prize, officials say more and more people have been coming to see the building.

The concept behind Yamamoto’s design was “a firefighting facility that is approachable and open to the public.” Accordingly, the exterior of the fire station is covered with approximately 2,400 long and narrow glass slats.

The building, consisting of one basement floor and eight above-ground floors, was completed in 2000. Even from outside, visitors can see the station’s approximately seventy employees at work. Because it is a fire station, the lights never go out, even at night.

In addition to those who have requested a tour of the building, we are also seeing more and more Japanese and foreign visitors pointing their smartphones at the station from the street and taking photos of the skeletal rectangular structure.

Perhaps having the fire station under constant surveillance will make firefighters even more vigilant in keeping the city safe.

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