Genbaku Dome (A-Bomb Dome)
In its resilience, it stands as a reminder of war’s devastation.
Often the first thing one sees when coming toward the Peace Park, the Genbaku Dome was first completed by a Czech architect named Jan Letzel, who’d moved to Japan from Prague in 1907. Letzel ended up working on over a dozen different buildings across Japan.
He brought a Euro-centric approach to his work (Art Deco and Neo-Baroque) that Japan had been looking for during that time. The September 1st, 1923 Kanto earthquake caused Letzel to move back to his hometown, but he would soon pass away in 1925, never to know how one of his designs would end up symbolizing humanity’s destructive nature.
Chilling the longer one looks at it, the round-and-naked dome seems to have moved past any sense of shame.
The effect of the dome is in its skeletal-like fragility. Chilling the longer one looks at it, the round-and-naked dome seems to have moved past any sense of shame. It rests on the last seconds of its own existence, its weight an afterthought to the rest of the building. The middle core huffs stubbornly, as if it is has one last chest-puff of pride to hold on. If it has a heartbeat, it’s there—beating softly despite its perilous condition.