Museum Of Architecture
The museum is located on a hilly site overlooking the Seto Inland Sea in the southwest of Omishima, a small island blessed with abundant nature with its orange groves and beautiful sunsets.
The project consists of two buildings named “Steel Hut” for the exhibition of Ito’s works and “Silver Hut”, a reenactment of his own house for workshop activities and events. “Steel Hut” is situated on the ridge part of a hilly site, “Silver Hut” on the valley part of the land.
During the early stages of “Steel Hut” the architects generated forms of architecture that were related to the undulating ground. After various studies, the proposal developed into a geometric structure which is independent from its surrounding landscape. Four types of 3m-sided polyhedron modules, which can be freely assembled and closely packed, were used to create this building.
Each unit has two kinds of wall slant angles. Consequently, there are no clear definite planes for ceilings, walls or floors. The space has a centripetal quality that creates an experience similar to being within a sphere.
When visitors move from one room to another, the inclined walls unfold panoramically. This unique quality of the space enables unusual ways of exhibition completely different from the orthodox exhibition space based on a standard grid.
“Silver Hut” was constructed on the valley part of the land structurally employing the has the same methodology as the original private house. The arch-like roof made from rhombic frames is bridged over beams placed on concrete pillars set at 3.6m intervals.
In this building, there are three main spaces – an archive space for visitors to review architectural drawings of approximately 90 works of Toyo Ito, an outdoor workshop space and a space with furniture designed by Teruaki Ohashi and used in the original “Silver Hut”. The outdoor workshop space with roof is a comfortable place with adequate wind flows, and it can be used not only for workshops with local people but also as a relaxation spot for visitors to freely enjoy and look at the sea.
On the exterior of the museum, there are three pieces of steel architectural models on display as well as a warehouse named “Timber Hut.” Visitors can stroll and appreciate them in the garden.
The opening exhibition “A see-worthy vessel”, at the “Steel Hut,” will be on view through 2011.