Kobuchizawa Art Village

CompanyAtsushi Kitagawara Architects Inc.
Lead DesignerAtsushi Kitagawara
Design TeamTomohiro Kitaguchi Motomi Nishiuchi
PrizeGold in Architectural Design / Hospitality Architecture

This is a project composed of a museum and a hotel, located in Kobuchizawa in Yamanashi prefecture, at the foot of Mt.Yatsugatake. The site is in a rich forest of wild trees, such as oak, mountain cherry, larch and red pine. With full respect for the natural surroundings, each block of the museum and the hotel carefully placed to protect the existing trees. The project aims to contribute to develop the local culture and revaluate this environment by a unique marriage of the museum, the hotel and the forest. The museum is designed for the works of an American artist, Keith Haring, and each rooms are arranged sequentially to invite visitors to tracing his life. The owner has always hoped that visitors don’t just see the exhibits but also experience the atmosphere made by Haring’s works and the architecture. That would require them to visit the museum several times in a day, so the plan for the hotel was there for a long time. The Hotel is designed to match the concept of the museum. Its asymmetrical trapezoid windows set in a gray angular building that seems void of right angles are a nod to primitive shapes in art, as well as Haring’s work, much of which involved impulsive primitive expression. While the odd-shaped windows reflect that: ’In nature, there are no right angles or straight lines.’ The museum and the hotel are the first step in a whole process. We also designed a new station near by this forest, and it is under construction. Our project in Kobuchizawa is not concluded yet. It will keep expanding, as the relationship between the forest and the buildings deepens.