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

+ 81 3 6264 9980


Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art

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.




CoverDaici Ano
  • 1–11,16,19Daici ano
  • 12–15,17,18,20–24takeru koroda