COD Japan Conference 2011: Tokyo, The National Art Center by Kisho Kurokawa

Another highlight of the day was a visit to the The National Art Center, by Kisho Kurokawa in the Art Triangle of the Roppongi area of Tokyo.  On the site of an old army barracks, the building’s glass front meanders around the entry and forms one side of a small urban garden.  The other side is enclosed by a modern renovation of a small remnant of the barracks.  The curving glass curtain wall, with fritted glass sun shades,  seems so simple but must have been a challenge to build.  The catwalks on the inside are unfortunate but I assume are required for glass cleaning.

Restaurants, five altogether, include three on top of the concrete cones.  The wall between the public lobby and galleries is comprised of back lit glass and fins of wood.  The galleries are all lit by indirect lighting in coffers, and are especially bright by western standards.  The partitions hang from tracks and sit on adjustable feet so they can be rearranged.  I especially liked the exit lights in the floor.

Jim Childress, FAIA


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