Museum of Wood Mikata, Hyogo by Tadao Ando | Design | Architecture
Museum of Wood’s Design and Structural Planning
Ando designed a facility called the Museum of Wood in 1994 in a mountainous area of Hyogo Prefecture in Japan. This is a museum that provides an introduction to wood cultures around the world. The task was to create a place that enables visitors to experience a culture of wood through the senses; Ando’s solution was to construct a powerful wooden frame on a wooded mountainside—a structure designed to be embedded in the environment. The buildings that best express the Japanese attitude and approach to wood are Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, machiya (traditional townhouses) and tea-houses, but the Museum of Wood is an entirely different building type.
The building encloses a tall, ring-shaped space, 150 feet in diameter and 52.5 feet in ceiling height. A veritable forest of laminated pillars and crisscrossed beams fills the space. The centre of the ring is a circular pond open to the sky. Thus a space of sky and water, enclosed by a ring-shaped space constructed of wood, has been inserted into the woods. We pass through a thickly wooded natural forest, encounter a powerful wooden structure, and arrive at the void of sky and water at its centre.
A wooden structure with such a clear geometrical space is highly unusual. The building seems to have a primitive, magical force; at the same time, it suggests a structure from some distant future out of a science-fiction novel or a sort of wooden pyramid.
Also see: Japan Pavilion Expo 92′ by Tadao Ando
Museum’s Interior and Architecture
Ando makes highly precise wooden furniture designs. As for architecture, he is not content to remain within the realm of traditional Japanese architecture but has taken on projects that expand the possibilities of wooden construction. Ando is very much known and recognised for his work, which mostly reflects concrete. But with Museum of Wood, he has demonstrated that he is not all about concrete and is equally proficient in working with wood.
The museum has various galleries which exhibit a number of items related to wooden craft and stunning models of historical wooden houses. A collection of tools used for wood designing and cutting. There is also some crafts designed and made by children and adults in the museum’s workshop. For people who are there for an architectural feel, there is an exhibition which consists of sketches by the architect Tadao Ando, made during the construction and design phase of the museum.