Japanese architect Ryue Nishizawa has completed the ‘Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa’, a single-storey cultural facility on a lush site in Karuizawa, Japan.
A collaborative effort with internationally recognised japanese artist Hiroshi Senju, the museum seeks to harmoniously link the exhibited art with the surrounding landscape within a naturally illuminated space.
Karuizawa is known for its harmony of nature and culture. Nishizawa choreographed a space where visitors could enjoy the feeling of becoming at one with the works of Hiroshi Senju and a forest in Karuizawa.
"Senju asked me to create an open, luminous space where people would observe his works, relax and spend time in contemplation. The museum, which gently hugs the natural slope of the site, has lighting controlled by deep eaves, silver screens, and UV cut glass while allowing in the greenery.
The open space was designed to unite Kazurizawaʼs nature and Senju’s art. I wanted to create a union of park and space that felt as inviting as a private living room." Ryue Nishizawa, architect.
For the 3000 tsubo site (nearly 2.5 acres), the two creators Senju and Nishizawa collaborated on a dream project.
Housing a wide collection of the artist’s work from 1978 to the present day, the museum utilises the natural elements of the site as a backdrop to the pieces displayed.
The floor gently follows the pre-existing contours of the land, subtly swelling and dipping throughout the gallery. A series of organically-shaped light wells puncture through the roof, injecting pockets of greenery within the interior.
Deeps eaves, silver screens, and UV-cut glass panels control the amount of daylight intake while allowing in the qualities of the forest.
Sitting between the parking lot and the museum is the ‘color leaf garden’ which acts as a natural buffer zone for visitors.
Involving the planting of 150 plant varieties and numbering more than 60,000 roots, the color leaf project’s pink, yellow, purple, silver and red shrubs and grasses fan out around the site as if in benediction of the museum.
In Karuizawa, with its pure air, gentle breezes and soft light, visitors can now experience a place of extraordinary imagination and beauty.
Location: Nagano, Japan Architect: RyueNishizawa Total Floor Area: 1818.42 sqm Exhibition Space: 1490.51 sqm Museum Office: 128.16 sqm Gallery: 199.75 sqm Year: 2011