Dojunkai shown for last time

Kyodo

The last two remaining Dojunkai apartment complexes, once considered a symbol of Japanese architectural prowess, were shown to reporters Wednesday before they are demolished in June and their 84-year history comes to an end.

Built in the Ueno district in Taito Ward, Tokyo, in 1929, the two buildings called Uenoshita Apartments stand four stories high and have reinforced concrete.

They will be replaced with a 14-story building with 128 condominiums, according to Mitsubishi Estate Co.

The biggest unit will have 75 sq. meters of floor space, compared with 40 sq. meters in the Dojunkai buildings, the real estate company said.

Construction is expected to be completed in summer 2015.

Of the 65 residents who currently live in the buildings, 55 will move into the new structure.

A series of Dojunkai apartment buildings — 13 in Tokyo and two in Yokohama — were constructed following the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 as a forerunner to Japan’s state-of-the-art architectural technology.

Concerns have been mounting for years that the buildings have grown too old and dilapidated, with cracked walls and corroded handrails. Their ability to survive earthquakes has also been called into question.