Hundreds of detailed architectural models, showcasing the current state of contemporary Japanese architecture, are on display at this impressive new museum. Visitors can explore numerous works by contemporary stars like Kengo Kuma, Shigeru Ban and many more, and follow the directions of their careers through the years. There's also work by dozens of up-and-coming practitioners, and in some cases competitive proposals for recent projects are displayed side by side, showing how different firms have tackled the same task.
Most models are labeled with short descriptions in English and Japanese. These are supplemented by QR codes that point mobile phone users to photographs of completed buildings by the architects along with further information. Note that you might want to bookmark these pages on your phone if you want to check them out again, since they're not linked from the main page of the museum's website.
The space here is quite large for a Japanese museum - some 450 square meters in area, with five-meter ceilings - and it's filled with aisle after aisle of multi-level shelving. The exhibition area is beautifully lit and has a nice spacious warehouse feel to it, with empty shelving around the perimeter allowing plenty of room for future growth.
One of the main purposes of the museum, in addition to showing noteworthy architectural models to the public, is to preserve them for the future, and to that end the interior is kept quite cool. A large room next to the main space seems to be devoted to temporary exhibitions, and we enjoyed a collection of several extraordinarily detailed, massive models of projects by the Wonderwall firm.
The is one of a number of new cultural venues in the area. While you're here, check out the T-Art Gallery upstairs to see if anything is on, and pop into the fascinating Architecture Model Workshop next door and the gorgeous Kengo Kuma-designed art-supply store Pigment just around the corner.
This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From our sister site Bento.com.