Unique conical roof Police box, KOBAN at Sukiyabashi to be rebuilt

The Sukiyabashi Traffic Square in Ginza just outside the Sony Building has a cute looking uniquely designed Police Box, Koban. Its been there ever since I came to Japan in 98. Koban, a place where you go asking for traffic directions, yeah I know its much more than that, but mostly traffic directions….. The Koban has a very unique red tile design, a conical shaped clown hat like roof and sits right at the intersection with architectural features which can easily catch the passerby’s attention. Well its going to be rebuilt and will be first pulled down completely… ya …
Conical shaped Koban at SukiyabashiIt was built in 1982 and primarily based on feedback from citizens that Koban’s in those days looked dull and without any architectural taste, square cement structures. The structure at Sukiyabashi became the defining point when Tokyo started to get varied shapes, styles and color for Police box, Koban’s across the city
Sukiyabashi Police Box Koban, TokyoSo why the hell are they tearing it down? Well it seems that the space is quite less, the structural stability is also not up to the mark, but the most important part is that the present Koban does not have needful rooms for female staff to rest including a ladies washroom for the female co-workers there. Hmm reasonable. Now this has made the original designer who is now 78 years old Yamashita Kazumasa, sad and he has reportedly questioned if architectural structures which become “cultural” symbols should be brought down for these reasons. Well we don’t know but then again believe that it should serve the main purpose for a staff which includes male and female colleagues. What use is culture if it does not serve the utility for which it was constructed in the first place?… I remember walking over to this place last in 2014, when there was a heavy snowfall all around and the trains had stopped. Asked the staff on which route to take and did get the right answers…See the snowfall then in the below snap
Sukiyabashi Police Box Koban, Tokyo by Manish Prabhune,We look forward to a new structure to come up soon and hope it will retain the taste of a unique architecture and a differentiating point which sets a new line of Koban design once again :). So long, you will be missed and thanks for the help you did by guiding many passers by like me… Its so important to have photographs, this structure will now remain only in memories…
Sukiyabashi Police Box Koban, Tokyo by Manish Prabhune, on Flickr

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading Facebook Comments ...
%d bloggers like this: