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Hiroshi Nakamura's art museum reflects the ornamental traditions in Japan

Art Museum by Hiroshi Nakamura, Oyama, Japan

While this compact art museum addresses a busy city street, it sits in a grove of trees extending the Japanese tradition of the ornamental garden. Shaped by the trees, the building twists and turns, rising up phototropically toward the light. The museum houses paintings collected by the owner’s late father, Roku Tsukada.

There is also a salon-like café where people can drop in. Softly curved in both ceiling and walls, the interiors reflect the shapes of the trees, so that visitors can feeltheir presence without seeing them. This gives the spaces an entirely different character to the ubiquitous white cube gallery. To simplify the construction of the building’s complex geometry, a timber frame sheathed in structural plywood forms a monocoque structure. The element was then clad in asphalt shingles that effortlessly follow the contours to create a continuous surface.

Architect Hiroshi Nakamura
Photographs Courtesy of the architects

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