#502 nihonbashi kayabacho 1-6-3
chuo-ku tokyo 103-0025

+ 81 3 6264 9980

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Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art
京都市京セラ美術館

The former Kyoto City Museum of Art (renamed as the Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art), the oldest public art museum in Japan, has attracted many visitors and served as a cultural center since its opening in 1933, hosting numerous special exhibitions and exhibitions of works by the general public. More than eight decades after the opening, many parts of the building were gradually deteriorating. The museum was not fully equipped with basic service facilities to meet the needs of the rapidly increasing number of tourists and visitors in recent years, including an open urban space, ticketing and information areas, lockers, toilets among others. Moreover, it was unable to provide suitable exhibition spaces to display contemporary art works which have become larger and using more diverse materials and exhibition methods. Therefore, the urgent issue was how to preserve and utilize the museum’s historical features while at the same time meeting contemporary needs.

We carried out overall repair and renovation works including addition of a contemporary art exhibition room and storage rooms, renovation to improve accessibility in the main building, equipment renewal, renovation of the courtyard, installation of new amenities, replacement of broken tiles, roof renewal and so on, while setting a new circulation framework with an eye on the entire region by digging down the front plaza on the west side to create a slope, transforming the basement which was originally a shoe storage into a new entrance, setting a circulation path in  an east-west direction from the entrance through the main central hall via stairs to the Japanese garden on the east side. Because the museum’s requests encompassed completely different issues and aspects including laws and regulations, budget, construction period, performance, technology, materials, operation guidelines and systems, it was naturally impossible to control the whole thing based on a single approach or ideal. On the other hand, it didn’t mean that we could just deal with them one by one, or solve them by simply following specific manners of the building that had been developed over the years. When we tried to solve a new problem, another problem that should have been solved often recurred, and we had to endlessly repeat the process of reexamining the “harmony” between proposed solutions. Our approach to solving problems under such uncertain situations was to repeat the endless process of “fine-tuning” possible solutions and endure the fact that we have to start with the specifics in front of us, and then finally see the ideal when we get to the end. Originally, there were no documents and drawings of past renovation works that had been carried out after the completion of the building in 1933, and all the renovation works had been done on an ad-hoc basis without overall visions. This time, our efforts to record the entire process (by making records of all procedures of sorting and organizing current issues and solutions as well as drawings) was also about consciously placing this project on the time axis toward the future while anticipating that it will be referred to on the occasion of further renovations.

This kind of layering of history not only enhances the future potential but enriches the cultural depth that Kyoto City Museum of Art has nurtured up to today. In July 2020, the main building of the Kyoto City Museum of Art was registered as a cultural property with the aim of preserving the past and utilizing it for the future.

現存する最古の公立美術館である京都市美術館は、1933年に開館して以来、多くの来訪者を魅了し、企画展、公募展を開催するなど文化的な中心地としての役割を果たしてきたが、築後80年あまりを経て各所で老朽化が進行していた。また、近年の増加著しい観光客や観覧者が求める開かれた都市空間、発券・案内スペース、ロッカーやトイレといった基本的なサービス機能を十分に備えておらず、さらに、大型化し素材や展示方法も多様化した現代の美術作品に適した展示空間を提供できないでもいた。このため、歴史的な美術館の姿を後世に残しながらも現代のニーズに応える「保存と活用」をいかにすべきか、ということが喫緊の課題であった。

そこでわたしたちは、西側正面広場をスロープ状に掘り下げて、かつて下足室であった地下室を新たなエントランスにすること、そこから中央ホールへ階段であがり、東側の日本庭園へ抜ける東西貫通動線をつくることを地域全体を見据えた骨格としながら、現代美術展示室と収蔵庫の増築、本館のバリアフリー化及び設備機械の更新、中庭の再生、アメニティ施設の新設、剥落しかけのタイル補修、屋根の葺き替え、など全面的な修繕と改修を行った。これらは、それぞれまったく次元の異なる課題と法規、予算、工期、性能、技術、材料、運用方針や体制などの混淆した要請であるから、なにかひとつの形式や理想で全体をコントロールすることは当然不可能であった。かといってひとつひとつを虱潰しに対処すればよいというものでもなければ、建築物が持っている作法を踏襲するだけでも解決しない。新しい問題を解決しようとすれば自ずと解決済みのはずの問題を再燃させ、こう言ってよければ解決案どうしの「調和」を再検討することを延々繰り返すことになる。そんな根拠のない中で取りうる態度は、それでも際限のないチューニングをし続けること、目の前の具体から始まって行き着くとところまで行ってようやく理想が見えるということに耐えること、であった。そして将来再び改修されるときのために、現状の課題と解決策を分類し整理した手続きと図面の記録(ほとんど竣工以来はじめてのこととなる)を残しておくことで、本プロジェクトが再び見直されるかも知れないという時間軸のなかに身を置くことができる。それは現代においてつくることをめぐる困難さと希望を同時に見るような作業であった。そうやって歴史が重層していくことこそ、京都市美術館がこれまで育んできた文化的な厚みであり、美術館の可能性であったはずである。過去の保存と未来の活用を見据えて、京都市美術館本館は2020年7月に文化財登録された。

Photo.

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