Architecture Tokyo

The National Art Center, Tokyo

One thing which struck me about the design of museums in Tokyo is that often the buildings are just as unique and interesting as the exhibitions they contain. The National Art Center, Tokyo (国立新美術館) which opened in 2007 is no exception.

The National Art Center, Tokyo

Glass Tree

Designed by renowned architect Kisho Kurokawa (黒川 紀章), the museums facade is made up of a wall of gently undulating glass which reflects the surrounding park.

The National Art Center, Tokyo

Behind the glass curtain wall the building reveals its striking interior with concrete being the primary material on display.


In-between The Lines

Translucent gaps between the wood slatted walls admit daylight into the voluminous galleries beyond.

Incubation Chamber

Two enormous inverted concrete cones house an (extremely expensive) elevated restaurant and cafe.

Conical Concrete

The cones are lit by a circular halo of lights floating above.

Inside Out

There are plenty of seats dotted around where you can pause and enjoy the view looking in or out.

Hide & Seek

In the basement there’s also a nice shop selling all sorts of beautifully designed Japanese products that would make great gifts.


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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