Sori Yanagi Museum / 2015

Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Design museum
660 Square meters

Sori Yanagi (1915-2011) was one of the most famous product designers in Japan and arguably the most important of the Modern era. He played a central role in Japanese modern design developed after world war II through to the high growth period in the Japanese economy of the late 1980’s. He is both a representative of the wholly Japanese modern designer and a full-blown modernist who merged simplicity and practicality with elements of traditional Japanese crafts. The 660 square meter museum sits on a 1,438 square meters site in Shibuya Ku, Tokyo. The main entry to the museum faces west onto a plaza that leads to the main exhibition hall on the ground floor. A smaller exhibition hall, theater, meeting room, off ces and storage space occupy the basement level. 
It was easy to be inspired by the work of Yanagi as we have long admired his work. Here, though, we did not defer to Yanagi. We feel like it is a collaboration between two sensibilities that find their meeting points in seamless yet unexpected moments. 
The scheme is based on a simple yet duplicitous cylinder: one side is pure, the other is distorted to absorb the specific geometry of the entrance door and transitional pathway to the exhibition hall. Construction is of white painted 15mm thick sheet steel.

Neil M Denari Architects, Inc
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