About OPAM

Print this page



An “Open” Art Museum

Typical Museums are usually a closed building type which prevents the public from knowing what activities are going on inside and deprives them of the chance to enjoy art.
This Museum aims to draw even those who are not Art-lovers, to visit regularly and enjoy the Museum as a gathering place for the public.
The ground floor atrium is a two-story high open space entirely enclosed by glass making the museum activities transparent from the street.
The atrium is always free for everyone and can be enjoyed as a civic space. There is a cafe and museum shop that is designed to be movable so they can relocate to adjust to the spatial requirements of exhibition layouts within Exhibition Room A. This exhibition room is formed by using movable walls to divide parts of the atrium into typical closed gallery rooms, or into what transforms the entire atrium into an exhibition space. The atrium is constantly changing with each exhibit, so that with each visit, there is a fresh impression of the space.
Furthermore, the entire southern street-side facade of the atrium is composed of operable bi-folding glass doors which can fully open to become a semi-outdoor public space allowing visitors to enter freely. This public space is borne from the idea of the traditional Japanese "Engawa", which is the covered outdoor space bordering the perimeter of traditional Japanese houses.
A glass facade can create a visual connection between interior and exterior, but still exists as a transparent wall physically separating the spaces. By removing this wall, the museum becomes a facility that becomes one with the city. Also, when the city closes off the fronting street to become what they call a "pedestrian's paradise", the street becomes a connected public space. Combined with the cultural center directly opposite of the museum, it is possible to hold huge events together centered around these two cultural facilities, further reinforcing the energy and spirit of Oita City.

*Engawa: covered outdoor space bordering the perimeter of traditioanal Japanese houses.

Shigeru Ban

Photo:©Hiroyuki Hirai

Description of the Building

【Location】2-1 Kotobuki-Machi, Oita City, Oita Prefecture

【Design and Administration】
(Architectural)Shigeru Ban Architects
(Structural, MEP)Ove Arup and Partners Japan Ltd.
(Lighting)Lighting Planners Associates Inc.
(Landscape)studio on site
(Fire Safety)Akeno Fire Research Institute
(Signage)Communication Design Laboratory

  (Electrical) Kyudenko Corporation, ONIZUKA ELECTRIC WORKS, JV for specific construction
  (HVAC) Suga Corporation Ltd., Nishisan Kogyo Corporetion Ltd. JV
  (Plumbing) Kyowa Kogyo Co., Ltd.
  (Landscape gardening) HOUJUENN
【Construction period)】
  (Main building) April 2013 – October 2014
  (Landscaping and landscape gardening) May 2014 – March 2015
【Urban District】Within the city planning area (designated urbanization area)
【Use District】Commercial area, quasi-fire prevention area
【Structure】Steel structure partially reinforced concrete
【Number of floors】1 level below ground, 3 levels above ground (and a partial 4th level)
【Height】Exhibition building: 20.09 m, administrative building: 24.77 m
【Site area】 13,517.74 sqm
【Building area】 16,817.69 sqm
【Pedestrian bridge】 Length approximately 66.86 m, width approximately 3.45 m

Shigeru Ban Profile

Shigeru BAN
Ban was born in Tokyo in 1957.
He graduated from the Cooper Union’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in 1984.
He worked at Arata Isozaki’s atelier from 1982 to 1983
In 1985, he founded Shigeru Ban Architects.
From 1995 to 2000, Ban served as consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In 1995, he established the NGO, Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN).
Ban is a Professor of Environmental Design at Kyoto University of Art and Design

Major works and activities include:

Curtain wall house (1995), Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan
Japanese Pavilion (2000) at Hannover World Exhibition Expo 2000, Hannover, Germany
Nicholas G. Hayek Centre (2009), Ginza, Tokyo
Center Pompidou-Metz (2010), France.
Ban won the international competition to design the new ‘Cite Musicale’ on Seguin Island in southwest Paris (2013), among many other achievements
Disaster relief projects including “Paper Cathedral”, Takatori Catholic Church, in the aftermath of the Great Hanshin Earthquake, in Nagata Ward, Kobe City, Japan (1995)
Paper Emergency Shelters for refugee camp in post-genocide Rwanda (1999)
Hualin Temporary Elementary School, in Chengdu, China in the aftermath of the Sichuan Earthquake (2008)
L'Aquila Temporary Concert Hall in Italy (2009)
Temporary Housing, Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture, in the aftermath of The Great East Japan Earthquake (2011), among many other activities

Major awards:

Grande Medaille France Academie d’Architecture (2004)
Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture (2005)
Grand Prize of Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ) Award (2009)
l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France (2010)
Auguste Perret Prize (2011)
Art Prize from Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs (2012)
Pritzker Architecture Prize (2014)