2007 – National Art Center – Kisho Kurokawa

The National Art Centeris located in the Roppongi district in the center of Tokyo. Roppongi is a downtown area known for its numerous high-scale restaurants, boutiques, foreign offices in addition to being home to many ‘creators’. The building is made up of seven enormous column-less display rooms, each 2000m², a library, an auditorium, a restaurant, a cafe and a museum shop. The floor area of the National Art Center totals 45,000m², making it Japan’s largest museum.

The National Art Center, Tokyo will not be a space for archiving works of art, but is a space for exhibiting public open exhibits and travelling exhibits. Large exhibitions will begin in the basement, where works will be brought in one by one at the loading area and only the pieces selected will be brought by service elevator to the display blocks. Medium and small sized public exhibits will most often be held in one ‘block’ and will be judged, separated, held and displayed as they are unloaded from trucks in the basement in a functional rhythm. One display ‘block’ can, moreover, be divided by partitions creating smaller spaces.

Designed to rival the mechanical display space is the atrium facade, an enormous transparent undulation. As the trees surrounding the museum grow, they will enclose the atrium in a forested public space. Also in the atrium space are two inverted cones, the upper portion of both featuring the restaurant and cafe.

Name: National Art Center│Type: Museum│Architect: Kisho Kurokawa│Completed: 2007



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