Saturday, August 28, 2021

Kyushu Geibunkan by Kengo Kuma


I had passed by this building several times on the train and was determined to visit it to explore when my walk took me through this section of the country.

Called the Kyushu Geibunkan, it is a kind of "culture center" and it is located slap bang in the middle of a rural area with only small towns and villages in the area . It is also located adjacent to a Shinkansen station that also seems anomalous,  and just a few hundred meters from Komyoji Temple that I had just visited as part of the Kyushu Pilgrimage.

In some climates, Japan in particular, the main focus of buildings is the roof. So it is here at the Geibunkan, though it actually has dozens of roofs, and not a single one is rectangular. Lots of triangles and trapezoids all joined together higgeldy-piggeldy, with some of the roofs almost touching the ground.

Though the front of the building seems somewhat simple and monolithic, the exterior is far more fragmented and disjoined which I suspect makes for some interesting interior spaces. I must admit I regret not having gone inside or explored the rear more.

As well as the wide range of intersecting and connecting shapes the building also uses a variety of different materials and textures which adds to the interest.

The building was designed by Kengo Kuma and opened in 2013. I have visited several of his buildings before but I believe this is the first time I have posted on this blog. My opinion of him worsened after his campaign against the winning design for the Olympic Stadium, which I liked, and having it replaced with his own design.

In the park around the building are a couple of annexes, asodesigned by Kengo Kuma which will get their own posts soon....