The Chihiro Art Museum Building
(Interview with Hiroshi Naito, architect) I started working on the design of the Chihiro Art Museum Azumino in early autumn of 1993 after visiting its site. Golden terraced fields with rich rice ears and the Hakuba mountain range lightly covered with snow could be seen in the distance. I was unsure whether it was okay to destroy such a beautiful landscape and turn it into a park, or even construct a building. If this landscape was to be destroyed, I would have to create a space that would measure up to it. (Omit) Just as the Azumino museum was completed, discussion about the renovation of the Tokyo museum emerged. They wanted to keep the building there as well as the visitors’ memories. However, this was not possible since the structure did not comply with the laws and regulations revised after the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Thus we decided to rebuild it. In order to retain the memory of the previous building, we left three big trees and worked hard on the configuration. (Omit) The Azumino museum has been expanded repeatedly and developed into a splendid art museum, while the Tokyo museum—its big trees and the building itself—has merged completely with the surrounding residential area. (Omit) I hope the buildings will serve as a backdrop for visitors to enjoy an enriching experience.