K-Museum, by Makoto Sei Watanabe, 1996 located in Odaiba, (Tokyo) train station Tokyo teleport. 3-1 Ariake, Koto-ku

IMGP2700The day I took the pictures it was a cloudy one, please accept my apologies for the poor sharpness of this post. To get more nice view of this art piece

I post below a list of well referenced articles about it. It had to be said since the design beauty is halved by the absence of sun reflexions on the refelecting surfaces.

Firstly let me point out that there are only few works visible in Tokyo by this firm. (here their official web site). Even this one, you are unlikely to find walking by a common or regular walk within one of the tokyo districts. It is in Odaiba which is must be considered a sort of a-side from Tokyo. After 3 years of living in Tokyo I would try to define Odaiba as the place where you go for spending a whole day during the weekend with your family to breath a bit of fresh air: an open space toward the bay.

Even though, you are not going to see this place. It is hidden by a sided gigantic brigde patwhay that connect the Tokyo teleport station surrounding Area with the International Exhibition Center station. 95 per cent of the time you will visit just one of these two spots and unless you are going there for sports aims, for instance running, you are not crossing that bridge.

A question also will surge, is it really a museum? There is no entrance (?). The wired fences shows signs of don`t get in, it is forbidden to get in. The funny thing is that it has the impression of something alive since a loud sound of waterfalls comes out.

A japanese blogger says that is has been closed since 2001 calling it an underground multipurpose museum (…sic…?)

This French blogger has the best pictures so far. He is a true admirer and if you cannot read french I summarize his/her words:

the museum reflects the double aspects of Tokyo showing light reflecting materials and light absorbing materials on the exterior skins.

There are sculptures that will change with the wind on one side called “touching the wind”. The gold amorphus rock on the top stays to emphasizes this double lecture. Movement and contrast are the key words in order to get a meaning out. He thinks that the building represents a vessel/boat/ship/space ship that is going to land or departs from that spot that is lightly touched (Yes the cantilever is a prominent feature of the building)

My personal feelings are general about the architect, not this building per se. To speak freely since his work has unique and it has an astonishing contemporary value (if you think all the archistars that are using complex geometry nowadays with super powered softwares…) hence it should be highly evaluated first of all by the japaneses as the work of Miyazaki for instance….The fact that he is not included in the book by Hagenberg (24 architects), speaks eloquently about the situation.

This article is more exhaustive than my wonderings and it has also the reference to a more famous work by M.S. Watanabe, the Aoyama Insitut College in Ebisu (Tokyo) and speaks about the hironic sense of this work.

HEre another one.

Here is an article in french from an architectural magazine. It says that the museum was  designed to present exhibitions themed immense and invisible energy networks, information, services and waste management that irrigate Tokyo. I can see the waste and the water energy.

I update the post now, because The museum itself has been chosen as a Cover for a book, written by Kevin Nute, Place time and being in japanese Architecture I will suggest to read if you like what you see in this blog. Probably in this unusual sculpture there is something more to discover…


Yodobashi Church, by Takada Architects ( 髙田博章建築設計), 1 post of 2 (1999)

I have visited this church thanks to my first guide of Tokyo Architecture by J.Vorrall.

Yodobshi ChurchIt was in one of my first tourist journey trhought TOkyo.

At that time I was equipped with an fresh English map of Tokyo and lot of energy. I woul have waoke up early and catching a series of subway to get in the designated area. Then I was normally walking over and over to l0ok for places spotted in some books. Two guides were my first ones, one from Vorral the other from the 80ies written in italian, wasa broader guide since went back to the beginning of the century.

At the end of the day I would have walekd from 7 to 10 kiometres, and coming bach home with hurting feet, usually.



Yodobashi Church

Shin Okubo Tokyo

The interesting thing of the roof is that is formed by prefab concrete bricks, overlapping each other to form the arcs. or crossing  vaults. Very impressive from down.

I followed inside a Christmas Ceremony and the baptism of new  catcholic adepts.

It is located in the heart of the Korean town of Tokyo. near the station of Shin Okubo. I did not know there were so many catholic in Korea!


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Here is the offical church web site.


In this blog other pictures.


The food and agricoltural museum, by K.Kuma, 2004

the-food-and-agriculture-museum-tokyo-university-of-agricultureFirst Time I went there it was closed. It took me a long walk so I was a bit disappointed. Luckily there was a korean restaurant in the surroundings. Also I took awalk to the Park called Banji koen, where it might have happened the Olympic Horses competition during the 1964 event.

This Museum established a sort of the state of the Art for Kuma`s aesthetic.  The “louvre” is going from the ground to the top, erasing the roof as if there is non need to cover ourselves anymore.

Inside everything was not definitive.  One kind of light wood was the main feature  from vertical division to false celing to, of course floors and furnitures. In the detail below a corner of the curtain wall with stone wearing mullions is visible.  Also the lightings from the ground, partially hidden by the bushes.

Detail of Museumthe-food-and-agriculture-museum-tokyo-university-of-agriculture/Here is the main official site of Kuma`architects.

The railing where made with wires and glass I recall. And Some paritions also by glass. Unfortunatelu I do not have interior picture but you can see them here.

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M2 by Kengo Kuma, 1991

I did not know something like that was even possible to think.




A big greek colum stays in the centre as if it is trying to hold and balance something merely patched together. I do not know what was the thinking behind this design but it must be something very elaborated…

Still remain something misterious even today. It is part of the post-modern wave I guess. It is true that Kuma claims started his careeer big shift when he learned more about wood thanks to a japanese artisan, according to the interview contained in the book by Hagenberg, nevertheless I hold at my home an old architectural magazine number called SD, from th 80ies.

The number was addressed to introduce the reader to young architects. Among them Kuma was presented as one of the more interested and involved in the theory…among the others were also mentioned Shigeru Ban and Shin Takamatsu.

Here the official web site from K.Kuma

Here below some more pictures

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