nobuo araki combines three concrete blocks into ‘the mass’ museum complex in tokyo

by Julia Wald

located along cat street in a residential area in the back streets of tokyo‘s omotesando avenue, nobuo araki / the archetype‘s the mass project comprises a small museum complex split in three exhibition spaces, each with its own entrance and approach. part of a larger ongoing project titled harajuku expanding landscape project, which consists of four sites to be built in four stages, this first phase is built with an overall concept of a concrete landscape, which incorporates a series of urban ‘blank spaces’ in its scheme.

nobuo araki / the archetype has planned a separate entrance for each of the three exhibition spaces of the museum building, approaching each one differently on their interiors. all three blocks are visually united into one building through the use of mainly concrete, glass, and wooden details in the exterior. conscious of future expansion plans, the entire building takes into consideration the flexible use of the three spaces according to the scale of each exhibition.

a central courtyard space, as well as smaller gaps between the three concrete blocks interlace the project with the urban landscape, allowing for its smooth integration with the surrounding neighborhood. additionally, the circulation plan, consisting of a variety of internal and external stairs and pathways, adds to the overall urban aesthetics of the project.

‘the wayfinding of the structure embodies “city gaps”,’ explains nobuo araki / the archetype. ‘there are several “blank spaces” located throughout the site in order to consciously assimilate with the neighboring streets and buildings. throughout the process, we viewed the city as having an exterior with a considered back-end, and a considered back-end that reflects onto the aesthetic of the exterior.’

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