The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa is a museum of contemporary art located in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan.


Architect: Sanaa
Project Locatin: Japan
The museum was designed by Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of the architectural office SANAA in 2004. In October 2005, one year after its opening the Museum marked 1,570,000 visitors.

The Museum is located in the center of Kanazawa, near Kenroku-en garden and the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art. The building has a circular form, with a diameter of 112.5 metres. This shape aims to keep the appearance of the overall building volume low, to mitigate the scale of the project and allows access from multiple points of entry. The transparency of the building further manifests the wish to avoid the museum being perceived as a large, introverted mass.

The building includes community gathering spaces, such as a library, lecture hall, and children’s workshop, located on the periphery, and museum spaces in the middle. The exhibition areas comprise numerous galleries with multiple options for division, expansion, or concentration. The galleries are of various proportions and light conditions – from bright daylight through glass ceilings to spaces with no natural light source, their height ranging from 4 to 12 metres. The circulation spaces are designed to make them usable as additional exhibition areas. Four fully glazed internal courtyards, each unique in character, provide ample daylight to the center of the building and a fluent border between community spaces and museum spaces.

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