Saturday, April 3, 2021

Kumamoto Station Koban


For those who don't know Japan so well, Koban is often translated as "Police Box" and they refer to  small police stations, not always manned 24 hours a day, that are scattered around the cities and rural areas.

I've seen several that were architecturally interesting, but perhaps the best is the one outside Kumamoto Station. It is one of the Kumamoto Artpolis projects.

An overhanging balcony extends out from the second floor, punctuated by circular holes of various sizes that allow the viewer to see the interior walls that are painted in a variety of pastel shades.

Unusually, for the Kumamoto Artpolis project,  the design was by a couple of non-Japanese architects, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham, though they both had previously worked for Toyo Ito.


  1. Nice way to use art instead of the often intimidating sign of authority