Architecture Design Tokyo


Another day, another fantastic museum in Roppongi – 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT sits in an unassuming corner of the up-market Tokyo Midtown (東京ミッドタウン) complex and was conceived by fashion designer Issey Miyake (三宅 一生) and architect Tadao Ando (安藤 忠雄).


It’s hard to describe the building, such are its tardis-like dimensions, but it basically consists of two floors – one above and one below ground.


The unique triangular roof is made from giant steel plates that slope gently down to the ground, hiding the larger structure buried beneath it.

Design Museum


It’s aesthetics are beautifully simple and uniquely Japanese, once again proving that they are the masters of making concrete look good.

Artificial Wind

Inside, the ground floor houses the entrance and reception area, while the underground floor houses two galleries and a triangular sunken court.

Narrow Light

At ground level a narrow slit in the concrete wall allows for a glimpse of the pathway running parallel to the building while on the opposite side a huge glazed window lets light into the underground level via a sunken outdoor courtyard.

Glass Expanse

The name “21_21 DESIGN SIGHT” is a play on the English expression “20/20 vision” for perfect sight, hinting at the need to look beyond the here and now to the future in the design process.

Concrete Stairway

Neat stacking chairs.

Future Colours

Currently the museum is hosting an excellent exhibition “COLOR-HUNTING” directed by Dai Fujiwara – well worth a visit.


Originally from the UK, David is designer and wanderer currently based in Kamakura. Prior to this, he lived in China and still returns frequently to continue exploring this vast and varied land. He started Randomwire in 2003 to chronicle his travels and occasional musings. Feel free to drop him a line.

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