Yusuhara is a town located in the southeast of Japan, in the mountainous province of Kochi. With a population of barely 5,000 inhabitants, Yusuhara is known for its town center, built with Sugi wood, or Japanese cedar, the country’s national tree. Along with the Town Hall, these buildings now have a new landmark: the Yusuhara Bridge Museum. A bridge-type structure – a large beam resting on a single central pillar – connects the public buildings, long separated by the road in between. The museum functions not only as a passage between the two facilities but also as an accommodation and workshop, an ideal location for artist-in-residence programs.
The building is accessed through two translucid vertical cores, concealed at the extremes so the structure seems to float in the air. The project’s challenge is that it spans a vast distance with small structural elements, evoking the cantilevered structures of traditional architecture in Japan and China. This large beam is built from a framework made up of hundreds of perpendicular beams, fewer as they approach the central beam. The resulting form is an inverted triangle that evokes the surrounding landscape.
Tomio Yano, Town Mayor of Yusuhara
Kengo Kuma & Associates
Ks Design (supervisión supervision); Katsuo Nakata & Associates (estructuras structural engineering); Kansai Setsubi (ventilación ventilation); Sigma Facility Design (equipamiento utilities); Showa Denki Kogyo (iluminación lighting)
Shimanto Sogo Construction