AREA gallery AREA gallery

Fuchu City, Hiroshima Prefecture. Located in the southeastern part of the prefecture, it is surrounded on three sides by the small mountain ranges of the Chugoku Mountains. The name "Fuchu" comes from the fact that "Bingo Provincial Government" was established here in the 7th century and the city was the political and cultural center of Bingo Province. Bingo Fuchu is also famous throughout Japan as a town of furniture. The production of chests of drawers began about 300 years ago, and during the Taisho period (1912-1926), when demand for furniture surged in the post-World War I bubble economy, the number of craftsmen increased, and the area established itself as a furniture production center.

This building is located in a peaceful location overlooking the mountains here in Fuchu. The site is long and narrow, with a 6-meter frontage bordering the road and a depth of about 50 meters. As a gallery that also serves as a showroom, the following points were considered in detail.

The works to be exhibited must stand out and not feel out of place in the space. As a place that contains the artworks, it should be able to create an atmosphere that captivates the hearts of visitors. ~These are not things that a building can achieve on its own. Nor should they be considered separately.

The main pillar of this project is "balance," and we have taken care to reflect the gallery's unique character to the fullest extent. The building is a two-story structure, with the first floor serving as the approach to another facility, the "KININARU SOUKOU," located adjacent to the rear of the site. On both sides of the building, 90 "konote-gashiwa" trees, each approximately 3.5 meters tall, grow without gaps. The upper part of the building is raised, as if supported by the trees.

No walls were built on the first floor, and the structural analysis was made with thin columns and thin beams as much as possible. The ground is covered with sleepers to the deepest part of the building to match the trees and to reduce the hardness of the building. When looking up from the approach to the upper part of the building, one suddenly feels as if he or she is deep in the forest.The leaves of Acer palmatum are densely packed without any space between them, giving it a dense, conical appearance. Each leaf has volume, and the close proximity of the leaves to each other gives the appearance of a series of green walls. The unique roundness of the conical Japanese white oak gives the impression of being embraced by the tree.

The second floor is divided into an indoor and a semi-indoor space, and the degree of division is flexible depending on the use of the space. The second floor is divided into an indoor and a semi-outdoor space, allowing for flexibility in the degree of division depending on the use of the space, as it was surmised that sometimes ambiguous boundaries are effective for exhibiting artworks. Grating was used on the floor above the approach to the semi-outdoor, or first floor area, to provide transparency and a slight sense of floating. The sleeper trees on the ground and the trees on the side of the building are in view, allowing the visitor to feel the atmosphere of the outdoors.

The ambiguity between the indoors and outdoors of this building brings a strange sense of openness. Furthermore, it was thought that the growth of the trees would become more integrated with the architecture over time. The building is also loosely roofed by a tent, which fulfills its function as an exhibition space.

The second floor of the building is surrounded on all sides by copper plate walls. A group of abstract leaves, reminiscent of a forest, was laser cut into the copper plates. The leaf-shaped gaps between the leaves give a fresh impression of the trees' greenery. The nighttime appearance is also interesting. Indoors, the leaves seem to dance in the light, and outdoors, the stars seem to fall from the sky. The gallery is a kind of different space.

If we can create this atmosphere without being intrusive, people will want to visit the gallery. A place where people can relax and feel something different from their daily lives. A place where the creators of artworks can entrust "art that projects their own identity" to.

It is no exaggeration to say that the planning of this building began with a consideration of the meaning of this gallery from various aspects. The most important consideration was "people. Of course, the same is true for housing. Buildings that attract people should be sensitive to the "state of mind" of people. It is not enough to pay attention to details such as impressions and comfort. However, the building should not have the power to force people to spend their time there. The completion of a building is also the start of "coexistence" with the people who gather there. In other words, completion is not the end but the beginning. We hope that this gallery will continue to deepen its "flavor and maturity" through the hands of its visitors.


  • Completion 2008.02
  • Building site Fuchu City, Hiroshima
  • Principal use store
  • Photo Takahiro Shimokawa


  • 2009 JCDデザインアワード 銀賞受賞