Datong Theater - Construction Site


The Kitakyushu City Museum of Art

1972 - 1974

Fukuoka, Japan

Cultural Facility

Site Area: 100,000 sqm

Building Area: 3,020 sqm

Total Floor Area: 7,864 sqm

Official Web Site

The Kitakyushu museum, located on a hilltop in the center of the city, has a commanding view of the surrounding area. One of its main purposes was to foster community pride, and it now stands as a distinctive monument and landmark.
The main gallery, completed in 1974, consists of two elongated cubes, 32 feet square on the face and 200 feet long. The two square faces seem to float out of the building, and the rest of the design has been submerged as much as possible to enhance this effect. Whereas the outer walls the cubes are covered with 1.2m die-cast aluminum panels, the lower part of exposed concrete. This is to encourage ivy growth, which will eventually cloak the base of the structure in green, further accentuating the hovering cubes.
Beneath the cubes is the entrance hall, covered in white marble. To the left of the entrance is a naturally lit exhibition wing, and to the right is the office wing. An auditorium, a studio, and a small hall in the basement serve as a "living museum" for the community.
The annex was built to alleviate the space shortage in the main building, especially in the community galleries, and it stands to one side of the entrance court and main approach. The lower portion of the annex is of rusticated concrete; the upper portion is of brick. The first floor is an independent community gallery, and the second floor provides storage space and research areas. On the third-floor level are a sculpture garden, a gallery for woodblock prints, and an atrium that connects directory to the main gallery through an open corridor.