Kengo Kuma and Patterned Castles (or what’s left of them)

The Museum of Kanayama Castle Ruin by Kengo Kuma and Associates

The Museum of Kanayama Castle Ruin by Kengo Kuma and Associates

The Museum of Kanayama Castle Ruin by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Two hours north of Tokyo, Kengo Kuma and Associates have designed and built the Museum of Kanayama Castle Ruin, Kanayama Community Center. The center’s designers construe the tradition of stonework and paving from the castle into a thin and graphic screen for the new addition’s facade.

The new project has a bit of a split personality. In relation to the historic site, the center displays information about the ruined castle; as a community center, the site hosts classes “to learn handicraft and dyeing.” Steep grade changes across the site necessitate that the building also act as a kind of retaining wall, something the architects refer to using an anatomical term I’m not familiar with being used in this context: “The entire architecture therefore is the breast wall.”

Alex Dent

January 20, 2012 / By

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