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


1984 – Wacoal Building – Kisho Kurokawa

1984_Wacoal Building_Kisho Kurokawa 

An office and warehouse facility for a maker of women’s lingerie, this building is in a prominent location near the imperial palace. The client wanted to make the building  as tall as possible, and the architect created a nine-story structure with a distinctive profile. The walls are glass and Neopariés, a crystallized glass material. The bottom three floors accommodating the warehouse have tilted walls. Show windows face Hanzomon Dori. Showrooms and offices are on the fourth to eight floor, and a reception room is on the top floor under a double-layered vault. The round window on the top has pattern based on astronomical chart from an 1826 Japanese text.


Name: Wacoal Building │Type: Office│Architect: Kisho Kurokawa│Completed: 1984


1972 – Nagakin Capsule Tower – Kisho Kurokawa

The module of Nagakin Capsule Tower was created with the intention of housing traveling businessmen that worked in central Tokyo during the week. It is a prototype for architecture of sustainability and recycleability, as each module can be plugged in to the central core and replaced or exchanged when necessary. Built close to Shimbashi Station, a total of 140 capsules are stacked and rotated at varying angles around a central core, standing 14-stories high. The technology developed by architect Kisho Kurokawa allowed each unit to be installed to the concrete core with only 4 high-tension bolts, which keeps the units replaceable. Each capsule measures 4 x 2.5 meters, permitting enough room for one person to live comfortably. The interior space of each module can be manipulated by connecting the capsule to other capsules.

Residents of the tiny pods are now plotting its demolition; although the capsules were built to be replacable, the building has not been maintained in over 35 years which has led to drainage and damaged water pipes. Architects from around the world are trying to work together to preserve the towers, considering all ideas and options.

Name: Nagakin Capsule Towers│Type: Residential│Architect: Kisho Kurokawa │Completed: 1972