Stay Safe in Japan Update: 21/09/2018, 19:14


More Information

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art: Encounter The World Of Tadao Ando

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art: Encounter The World Of Tadao Ando

Kobe 2019.11.30 Bookmark

The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, designed by Tadao Ando, is a museum in Kobe where all can appreciate the works of the world-renowned architect. Ando Gallery opened in 2019 and provides visitors an up-close look at this artists' one-of-a-kind pieces.

Translated by Shinji Takaramura

Written by Osawa Kumi

The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art

(仮)世界屈指の建築家・安藤忠雄氏の世界が体感できる兵庫県立美術館

The south facade of the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art

In 1995, Kobe was devastated by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. Following the disaster, the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art opened in 2002, as a start to cultural reconstruction of the area.

The museum, surrounded by water and greenery, was designed by the world-renowned architect, Tadao Ando. It has grown into a facility that welcomes 900,000 visitors annually. While the museum hosts various exhibitions, some people also visit to appreciate the architecture.

This article is about the Ando-designed architecture, along with what you can see at the Exhibition Block No. 2 (Ando Gallery), which opened in 2019.

A Photogenic Work of Architecture

1. The Stairways

(仮)世界屈指の建築家・安藤忠雄氏の世界が体感できる兵庫県立美術館

The museum can be appreciated in many ways. For instance, take a look at the stairs, which connect the rooms in the maze-like interior. The spiral steps in the photograph above is called the Circular Terrace.

(仮)世界屈指の建築家・安藤忠雄氏の世界が体感できる兵庫県立美術館

The Circular Terrace connects the basement floor to the outdoor space on the second floor. It the museum's center, also connecting the exhibition wing and the gallery wing.

The contrast of the artificial concrete and the sky above makes the terrace a perfect spot to take photographs.

(仮)世界屈指の建築家・安藤忠雄氏の世界が体感できる兵庫県立美術館

The complex stairs linking the elevator hall to the temporary exhibition gallery on the third floor resembles the inside of a pyramid.

(仮)世界屈指の建築家・安藤忠雄氏の世界が体感できる兵庫県立美術館

The Large Staircase connects the outdoor spaces on the sea side of the museum. On a clear day, visitors sitting on the steps can enjoy the view of the port or the sunset. Along with the promenade, the stairs can also turn a daily act of taking a stroll at the museum into an escape from everyday life.

2. Enjoying the Light, Shadow and Breeze

(仮)世界屈指の建築家・安藤忠雄氏の世界が体感できる兵庫県立美術館

The Wind Deck is located on the fourth floor. Both Mt. Rokko (mountain side) and the warehouse district (sea side) can be seen from this spot, where a pleasant breeze blows between the buildings. This is another popular spot to take photographs; even fashion magazines sometimes have photo sessions here.

(仮)世界屈指の建築家・安藤忠雄氏の世界が体感できる兵庫県立美術館

The contrast between light and shadow stands out in this museum. Go find a spot you like and have fun.

3. Green Apple

(仮)世界屈指の建築家・安藤忠雄氏の世界が体感できる兵庫県立美術館

On December, 2018, an art installation was placed on the Seaside Deck. The Ando-designed Green Apple was inspired by “Youth,” a verse by the American poet Samuel Ullman.

The work represents the architect's will to challenge themselves and grow, while keeping a youthful state of mind.

(仮)世界屈指の建築家・安藤忠雄氏の世界が体感できる兵庫県立美術館
(仮)世界屈指の建築家・安藤忠雄氏の世界が体感できる兵庫県立美術館

The installation, made from FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic), is 2.5 meters in width, depth, and height. Unlike other works of art in museums, visitors can actually touch this artwork, and a large number of people have taken photographs alongside the Green Apple.

Visitors are invited to post pictures on their social media accounts with hashtags such as "Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art," "Ando Gallery," or "Green Apple." Please be courteous to other visitors while taking photographs.

Exhibition Block No. 2 (Ando Gallery)

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe

Exhibition Block No. 2 (Ando Gallery) opened on May, 2019, to further energize the museum. There is no admission fee for this facility. Within three months after its opening, more than 20,000 people visited this popular gallery, which displays models and drawings of Ando's works.

Second Floor: Permanent Exhibition

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe

The first exhibit is titled Hyogo/Reconstruction. Ando's works in Hyogo Prefecture, and various reconstruction projects (including this museum) after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, are displayed in this zone.

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe

The Origin/Works zone is located on the east side. One of Ando's early works, Sumiyoshi no Nagaya (Row House in Sumiyoshi), which was built in 1976, is displayed using photograph panels and a 1/10 scale concrete model. Nagaya is a Japanese-style collective housing, with semi-detached units lined up side by side.

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe

Photograph panels and a 1/10 scale concrete model of Church of the Light, another internationally-work, is also on display. The church is filled with spirituality, as a narrow, cross-shaped opening on the wall greets the visitors.

Third Floor: New Projects

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe

On the third floor, a large bookshelf can be seen along with the models. Visitors can browse the architecture books on the shelves.

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe

At the time of our visit, the Naoshima Project was on display. There are seven buildings designed by Ando on the island of Naoshima, including the renowned Chichu Art Museum.

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe

There is another corner displaying various projects which has been completed or are under construction all over the globe.
A 1/30 scale wooden model of Punta della Dogana (an contemporary art museum in Venice, Italy) and a 1/100 scale wooden model of Bourse de Commerce (an art museum in Paris, France) was also on display. Please note that these exhibits will be changed regularly.

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe

The photograph above is a model of the Osaka Nakanoshima Children’s Library, scheduled to open in 2020. This project is filled with Ando's philosophy and thoughts on education for future generations.

Gallery Information

The museum is open from 10:00 to 18:00. On Fridays and Saturdays during special exhibitions, the gallery closes at 20:00. Last admission is thirty minutes before closing. It will be closed on Mondays, same as the museum. If Monday happens to be a national holiday, the gallery will be closed on Tuesday. For details, please check the official museum site.

For Visitors from Abroad

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe

The information counter and the ticket booth are located in the center of the entrance hall. Besides Japanese, pamphlets are provided in English, Chinese, and Korean. There is no admission fee for the Ando Gallery, and visitors can view the building for free, but tickets must be purchased to enter the exhibition gallery. Please keep in mind that as of September, 2019, only cash is accepted.

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, designed by Tadao Ando, came into fruition as a symbol of reconstruction after the earthquake, with the support of many people bound by their love of art. Be sure to visit this unique museum in Kobe.

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art

View Information

In cooperation with Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art and Tadao Ando Architects & Associates.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

Related topics