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Nebuta House Museum by Molo Design, Japan

Chronicles of culture and Japanese traditions invent Molo Design’s museum

One of Japan’s three most famous cultural festivals, Nebuta Matsuri is a form of popular storytelling during which heroes, demons and creatures from history and myth come to life as large-scale painted paper lanterns (nebuta). Incorporating a museum, archive and educational resources, the Nebuta House in the northern Japanese city of Aomori documents and sustains this unique cultural art form.

The building is enclosed by ribbons of twisted steel, individually shaped to create variation: openings for light or areas of opacity, framing views or defining circulation. Enamel-coated in a deep vibrant red, the ribbon facade creates a sheltered outdoor perimeter zone called the engawa, a spatial concept originating in traditional Japanese houses. Here the engawa acts as a threshold between the contemporary milieu of the city and the world of history and myth, filtering light and shadow to poetic effect.

Architect Molo Design
Associate architects d & d Arch, Frank la Rivière Architects
Photographs Courtesy of the architects

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