21st Century Museum
Circular in form, the building has no front or back, leaving it free to be explored from all directions.
The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is located in the center of Kanazawa, one of the nation’s historical centers, on the north coast of Japan. The building contains community gathering spaces, a library, lecture hall, children’s workshop, as well as museum spaces.
The variously proportioned rooms placed inside the circular building – the model based on a chain of islands or an urban space – signify the centers that generate values originating in the maldistribution of decentrism and polycentrism, and in remote regions.
A walk inside along the curved glass of the exterior facade smoothly unfolds a 360 degrees panorama of the site.
Four fully glazed internal courtyards, each unique in its character, provide ample daylight to the center and a fluent border between public zone and museum zone.
The exhibition area is fragmented into numerous galleries that are all embedded in the circulation space; an approach that offers flexibility to the museum routing and, at the same time, specificity to the gallery spaces.
The circulation spaces are also used as additional exhibition areas.
The scattered location of the galleries provide transparency with views from the periphery into the center and vistas through the entire depth of the building. The transparent corridors encourage “coexistence” in which individuals remain autonomous while sharing personal space with others.
Gallery spaces are of various proportions and light conditions – from bright daylight through glass ceilings, with a black-out possibility, to spaces with no natural light source. Their height range from 4 meters to 12 meters.
The design that allows the visitor to decide on the route through the museum, combined with the flexible gallery rooms that can adapt to every type of media, guarantees the trans-border diversity of the programs that will be held in the space. The intention behind all of these elements is to stimulate the visitor’s emerging awareness.
For a rest there is a row of SANAA “Rabbit” chairs inside, and a circle of SANAA “Drop” chairs outside.