Saturday, October 9, 2010

Museum Design By Kengo Kuma | Suntory Museum Of Art

A "Japanese-style room" in the city was to be the concept of the museum. A "Japanese-style room" is a comfortable space where people are able to relax on tatamis that are laid on the floor, and among the Japanese traditions, is the most relaxing and relieving environment.
In the background lies the phenomenon of the transforming of the city indoors. Communication and transportation technology has destroyed the distance that had existed among objects, and has transfigured the entire city into a massive "indoor" house. Inside large houses there are numerous corridors and dining rooms, yet there is no relaxing "Japanese-style room". There is no "Japanese-style room" where time passes slowly, and generates conversation among familiar people, and among people and objects. In a hope to become the quiet "Japanese-style room" in a clamorous urban environment, I drew the plan for the Suntory Museum of Art.
The people of the 20th century sought for a museum that was an exaggerated "urban monument", yet the people of the 21st century are looking for a peaceful "Japanese-style room". In fact, as the Suntory Museum of Art worked on the theme "Beauty of Life" from an early stage of planning, there is no other museum which is suited to be a "Japanese-style room". This museum should reveal its natural self at the frontier of the global trend.
I felt the "Japanese-style room" building should not be a pretentious bluff. The "Japanese-style room" is constructed by human-friendly materials cherished in our daily lives- for example white porcelain kind to the skin, paulownia which maintains humidity, and white oak used for barrels. A light adjusting device hinted from the design of the traditional Japanese window "Muso-Koshi" was placed on the frontage facing the greenery of the park. This device softens the scenery and light falling into the "Japanese-style room". Japanese people have used these kinds of devices to appreciate the four seasons and the passing time.
Surrounded by beautiful arts, gentle materials and soft light, time passes slowly. The Suntory Museum of Art will become a place where people will be able to deeply appreciate the new relationship among arts and people....images
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