||The former Kantei, the official residence
of the Japanese Prime Minister, was completed on March 18, 1929. The main part
of the building was a two-storied section of reinforced concrete, and the entire
building boasted a total floor space of approximately 5,200m2.|
With central government ministry buildings sustaining serious damage during the
Great Kanto Earthquake of September 1, 1923, the government of the day initiated
the Central Government Ministry Construction Plan, and the Kantei was built
as the flagship of the scheme.
The Kantei was often confused as one of the buildings designed by the American
architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, designer of the former Imperial Hotel (completed
July 1924). In fact, it was designed by Muraji Shimomoto, an architect from the
Building Division in the Facility Management Department of the Ministry of Finance.
The architectural style of Frank Lloyd Wright had a powerful influence on the
Japanese architects of the time. Shimomoto later reminisced that the former Kantei
"was not an imitation of Wright's work; rather, I would say it was built
in the Wright style."