Teshima Art Museum by Ryue Nishizawa and Rei Naito

These images of the Teshima Art Museum are from the website of the italian architecture magazine Domus. The museum is a collaboration between half of the Pritzker-Prize winning firm SANAA (that half being Ryue Nishizawa) and the artist Rei Naito. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you may remember Bobby posting a video of another Sanaa project back in March when their selection for the 2010 Prizker Prize was announced. The video he posted features the Rolex Learning Center, which, formally, is the most obvious predecessor to the Teshima Art Museum.

But there are differences. Tucked on top of a hill on the Japanese island of Teshima, the museum is unlike most art museums– unlike most buildings– in that it doesn’t treat the outside as a source of contamination and is completely open. This is because of the art work that the architecture serves: a piece by Naito called Matrix, relies on wind that enters the two large oculi to animate drops of water on the floor. But the form of the building also comes from water, according to an interview with Naito:

“My work will be inside the building. I wouldn’t exactly call it an art museum. It’s shaped like a falling water drop. There are no [columns] and it’s a large concrete building, about 40 meters wide. My work will essentially be composed of water on the floor. We work together so he asks me what do you want to do and I ask him what do you want to do. While listening to each other we consider the wider surroundings on the island”

It’s a beautiful consideration, and with photographs this stunning (the photographer is Iwan Baan, no surprise) we can only imagine the ephemeral experience of standing between the huge holes in an expansive drop of concrete and the smaller drops of water on the floor.


December 13, 2010