KUMAMOTO ART MUSEUM - CHIBAJO ANNEX with Daiwa Architects Office + Ryughei Yagi
Kumamoto, Japan, 1992 Kumamoto Prefecture (Art Polis Program)
Remodelling and renovating to provide existing buildings with different purposes are new experiences in Japan. Earthquakes, bombs and market laws have made a lot of architecture from recent decades disappear. The renovated building is opposite to the Kumamoto Castle, the most emblematic monument in the city. A library used to occupy the two independent bodies of the building. A third volume has linked them, and in it is situated the main vestibule and the escalators.
The main façade has two large apertures protected by thick, copper coated canopies. The ground floor façade is the entrance door. The other aperture in the tea-room is on the second floor - an elongated window like constructions that rest on first wall to the castle.
The view of the fortress is only rediscovered from this room after traversing the windowless spaces of the exhibition galleries.
Three of the façades have been dressed in the stone of Kumamoto area, as if they wore an apron. The 45º pattern relays the ramps opposite the museum. The façade opposite the castle, where the services are housed, is finished in panels that were painted for budgetary reason.
The roof is raised in a comb of copper volumes through which roof light enters. They also embrace the mobile divisions of the large exhibition wall, which now takes the place of the library meetings room. The stone and copper will age and change texture and colour to accompany the castle, like an armed warrior beside his noble lord. The sculpture zone and the reading rooms are accompanied by two small patios. The first one interprets a Zen rock garden, which climbs up the walls here. The second one reproduces a set of gigantic books with the vegetation.