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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Oita Art Museum Deemed One Of The Top Building Designs

Even before I discovered LEGO a few years ago at the tender age of none-of-yer-effing-business, I had always possessed a discerning eye for architectural design.

No… not where I ever wanted to be an architect, rather I simply had an appreciation for building styles.

Living in the suburbs, damn near every thing has an A-Frame roof and rectangle or square windows, though storm doors and carpeting are no longer in vogue. By the way, can anyone explain to me the purpose of placing carpeting atop the entire floor of a bathroom in the UK? People, accidentally or not, don’t always hot the toilet bowl when relieving themselves. Especially men and boys.


Anyhow, over at, I found a story describing how the Royal Institute of British Architects had launched a new international award that rewarded what it felt were the best new buildings in the world.

Now while the actual story itself does NOT provide the data on what makes each of the 30 individual buildings special—they vary in style, building material, size and cost—suffice to say that from glancing at the photographs provided in the link HERE, each building has some pretty wicked-looking architectural design going on with it, and, of course, its surroundings.

It can’t stand out like a sore thumb, right?

If you glance up at the top photo, you can see that Japan made the list with its Oita Prefecture Art Museum, a building designed by the architectural firm of Shigeru Ban Architects.

Ban Shigeru (surname first, 坂 茂) was born on August 5, 1957 in Tokyo, and is actually well known for his innovative work paper, including recycled corrugated tubes to construct quick and usable housing for disaster relief.

In 2014, Ban was the 37th recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered to be the most prestigious award in the field of architecture.

Anyhow, his firm designed the Oita museum, which opened in 2014. On their website, I found the following description of their work on that facility:

To service the various events, functions and installations that will be held at the museum, traditional Japanese horizontal bi-folding doors and moveable exhibition walls are used to create a flexible and adaptable space to meet all of the user’s requirements. Furthermore, rather than creating a closed off box, the museum is designed as an open environment, continuously connecting the visitor and passerby to the activities inside. When the horizontal bi-folding doors are open at the ground floor, the atrium and outdoor space transform into one large semi-outdoor space. The front road can also convert into an exhibition space, potentially transforming the entire neighborhood into one large event space.

Andrew Joseph

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