01 August 2016 / Architecture & Design

The Tomioka Silk Mill UNESCO World Heritage Site

The art of silk manufacture has always brought the worlds of East and West together.
As from as early as 3000 BC this unique fabric has stood out for its unparalleled elegance and refinement.

If you ever travel the Silk Road you are sure to find the Tomioka Silk Mill - one of the most beautiful examples of Japanese industrial archaeology that was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014 and defined as “The Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites”.

The Silk Mill was built in 1872 by the Meiji government in the Gunma prefecture to modernize this area to the north-west of Tokyo. It was the first ever modern sericulture and silk mill complex, a leading exporter of raw silk and a driving force for Japanese industry right up until 1987 when it was finally closed.

富岡製糸場 is now safeguarded as a historic site and a symbol of modernisation.
Opened to the public in 2005, the complex includes masonry and wooden brick machine rooms, warehouses and dormitories with traditional Japanese tile roofs, all built between 1872 and 1873 to host the French engineers who “imported” this construction technique.

Visiting the mill is like travelling from East to West or from the ancient to the modern world using an iPod Touch with a guided tour in Chinese, Korean, French and English.

It is here, in this complex where industry is both art and technological innovation that Leonardo EvolutionsTile has found inspiration. As the Tomioka Silk Mill is beautiful, picturesque and still a centre of cultural interplay with the rest of the world.

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