History / Building
A renowned architect, Tadao ANDO, designed the annex building which he called "Underground Jewelry Box". In contrast to the main building, which is mainly made of dark wood with many decorations, it is made of large concrete wall in his simplistic style.
Tadao ANDO was born in Osaka in 1941. He taught himself architecture and in 1969 established the Ando Tadao Architects and Associates in Osaka. He first entered the limelight in 1979 for having received the Annual Prize from the Architectural Institute of Japan in Row House in Sumiyoshi (Osaka, 1976). After having worked on a number of famous projects such as the Church of the Light (Osaka, 1989), the Children's Museum (Hyogo, 1989), Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum (Kagawa, 1992) and the UNESCO Meditation Space (1995), he went on to design this annex (1995). He has won many prominent prizes, such as AIA Gold Medal from American Institute of Architects. He has served as a visiting professor at Yale, Columbia and Harvard Universities, and is currently an emeritus professor at Tokyo University.
Maintaining the connection to the landscape and the villa's history, he designed the annex to live in coexistence with nature. The cylindrical gallery is half buried underground. The main building and the annex are connected to each other by a corridor in which the visitor descends into the gallery along a water-lily pond that was dug along the corridor. In this gallery, masterpieces , such as Water-lilies by Claude MONET are exhibited. Since trees and grass is planted above and around the building, the visitor can hardly see the building from the garden.
Comment by Tadao ANDO.
Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art embraces the attractiveness of the four seasons: gorgeous cherry blossoms in spring, fresh greenery in summer, stunning red leaves in autumn and silent snow scenery in winter. In the main building, which was built from Taisho to Showa Era, the Mingei ceramic collections of Kanjiro KAWAI, Shoji HAMADA and Bernard LEACH are exhibited. In the annex, which is almost embedded in the hillside, paintings such as Water-lilies by Claude MONET are exhibited. The annex is called "Underground Jewelry Box."
I hope every visitor can enjoy and appreciate the unique characters of the four seasons, two distinctive types of collections and the architecture of the main building as well as the annex.
In 2012, a new gallery called “the Dream Box” designed by ANDO appeared by the water-lily pond. The cube-shaped building, which contrasts with the cylindrical “Underground Jewelry Box”, shows Ando’s characteristic style – simple structures and sleek concrete walls. Yet, as it is located behind the trees and its roof is covered with plants, it beautifully succeeds to harmonize with the quaint villa and surrounding greenery.
There had been huge orchid greenhouses where the Dream Box stands. The glassed white corridor which links between old and new buildings was initially built as a way to the greenhouses.
The museum’s new history has re-started from the site where Shotaro KAGA, the original owner of villa, had dreamed of his paradise.
Entrance of the gallery
Trees and the roof garden
The roof of the corridor
View from the garden