Built in 1979 by Japanese Architect Togo Murano, the Yatsugatake Art Museum has a unique design with a dome shape like a space port determined by the building materials and the construction method.
Yatsugatake Art Museum technical information
- Architects: Togo Murano
- Location : Haramura, Japan
- Project Year : 1979
- Materials : Concrete
- Typology: Cultural Architecture / Museum
- Images : Flickr Users © Tokyowings © Wakiii
Japan’s modernist architecture bridges the gap between the country’s traditional buildings and contemporary architecture, giving Japan its unique aesthetic character.
– Tomas Maier
Yatsugatake Art Museum Photographs
Yatsugatake Art Museum Description
Yatsugatake Museum of Art is located at the foot of Yatsugatake Mountain, 1,350 meters above sea level. It opened in 1980, when it was one of Japan’s few art museums in a village. It’s building was designed by Japanese architect, Togo Murano (1891 to 1984). It has a unique design in a continuous dome shape like a space port, and makes one imagine a mountain range.
One of Murano’s primary concerns when designing the Yatsugatake Art Museum was to avoid disturbing the natural environment. With that in mind, he designed the building with circular elements which were arranged in identical sized semicylindrical units. The shape of the roof was designed as a serie of interconnecting and intersecting half domes and semicircular vaults.
The unique character is also determined by the building materials and the construction method. Walls are made of unfinished concrete blocks set in a reinforced concrete structural frame. The domes and the vaults of the roof are assembled from precast concrete elements whose continuous and smooth outer surfaces have been let unfinished. Inside, however, the space is soft and has translucent fabric.
Nowadays, the museum has bronze sculptures and pictures by Takashi Shimizu, a sculptor who led Japan’s sculpting art world after World War II. It also exhibits works by Kakusen Tsugane. Both of these artists are from this town (Haramura). It also has exhibits which introduce craftsmen working at the foot of the Yatsugatake Mountains, and planned exhibits for each of the 4 seasons: Quilts, dyeing, weaving, sakiori weaving, etc. The adjoining Haramura Folk Museum exhibits earthenware and stone tools and discovered in local excavations, so you can learn about life in Yatsugatake 4,500 years ago.
Leaving the museum, there is a walking path with outdoor exhibits of sculpture works by Takashi Shimizu, and bronze sculptures made by local junior high school students. While strolling, you can sense a beautiful harmony of art and nature, and enjoy the mountain plants of Yatsugatake, which changes its face with each season.