• Competion
  • Azuma Village
  • JP
  • 2001

The International Design Competition for a New Tomihiro Museum of SHI-GA in essence demands a collective place “of universal human appeal” in the midst of “the deep green poetry of the mountains, the blue sky, and four seasons of wildflowers, groves of rhododendrons and red striped azalea trees”.

The project mainly concerns the re-design of the spatial flow of nature.

1. The existing structures are demolished, nature takes control.

2. Different footpaths come into being on the site. Some of them are trails that were always there, interconnecting every possible destination within the surroundings. Others are intentionally laid out. While conforming to the natural structure of the slopes and the existing vegetation, the intricate web of trails and paths reaches every corner of the site and challenge the magnificent views. One of them is the new Museum Road, the only one accessible for vehicles, with parking on both sides: A colorful ribbon of parked cars and busses winding through the landscape. Paths and trails, together with the slopes and the structure of the landscape, define two relatively large “Untitled Spaces”, which are accessible for anyone and reachable from any direction. Here, nothing happens, but anything could; eating, drinking, working, sleeping, acting, dancing, gathering, dreaming, driving, f…ing, thinking, talking, walking, jumping, changing and so on: Anything one can think of. The spaces are paved with “Souri Mikage-Ishi”, broken into very small pebbles.

3. Several architectural structures are placed on the intersections of different paths and trails. These structures are conceived as little artificial pieces of mountain. Made out of concrete, they are quite terally poured on top of the existing mountain: Slightly altering the landscape like a sort of large-scale plastic surgery. The spaces within have no specific function yet, but could provide all the room required to facilitate all the secondary functions of the new Tomihiro Museum (stock, storage, research, preservation, meeting, coffee, books and so on), and preferably a little more.

4. On top of the concrete structures, where different paths meet, T-shaped pavilions are erected: Clear and simple chromium-plated steel structures, clad with slightly mirrored glass panels. A series of smaller “Untitled Spaces”, more individual by size and function, but collective in their proximity and seriality. The work of Tomihiro Hoshino is exhibited inside these structures, where light and atmosphere can be conditioned if necessary. Visitors remain outside and watch through the glass, shielded from rain or sun by the large cantilevering roof, but otherwise at the mercy of the forces of nature. SHI-GA, the surrounding landscape, the sky above, the ground beneath and the people present are reflected and artificially multiplied on the matrix of glass panels, merging into the ever changing images that define the new Tomihiro Museum of SHI-GA.