Project in Detail
Takenaka Coporation, Fukuoka city, Japan
general view of SATSUMA DENSHOKAN
Hiroshi Itou - Itou Prophoto
SATSUMA DENSHOKAN built in Ibusuki in the south of Kagoshima JAPAN is a museum aimed at conveying Satsuma culture in history.
“Visit SATSUMA DENSHOKAN, if you like to rediscover Satsuma.”
Satsuma brand had her debut in the West when Satsuma ware was sent to Exposition Universèlles des Paris (Paris World Expo) in 1867, the end of Edo shogunate in Japan. Satsuma culture flowered under strong sunshine amid magnificent nature as the local people reacted with passion to cultures around the world and current of the times, as Satsuma was the point of entry to Japan from the South Seas at that time.“Visit SATSUMA DENSHOKAN, if you like to rediscover Satsuma”, the client implies the strong pride for the culture and character of Satsuma, which took initiatives at the turn of the era showing the unity of peculiar aesthetic sense and spirit of justice though exposed to the Western and Chinese tradition. The challenge for the design architects is how to embody the culture and character of Satsuma.
-“Emit Glow” in Satsuma-
Pride and confidence in the Satsuma’s culture and character pave the road to the future. Design Concept of SATSUMA DENSHOKAN is to “emit glow”* in Satsuma tradition: to portray Satsuma’s identity by positioning her in the Japanese tradition and by displaying her history and tradition in contrast of those of foreign countries and to continuously succeed the Satsuma tradition, handed down from the old days, in the years to come.
1) Edifice and Garden with Pond --Reflecting the Passage of Time in Satsuma--
SATSUMA DENSHOKAN is a contemporary architecture communicating the passage of time as well as an artwork in the Japanese temple/shrine-design style. The form, once on the edge of extinction amid tumultuous turn of the era, is reflected in the architecture to allow visitors to be exposed to the beauty of universal Japanese design originated from time immemorial, which in turn let them feel nostalgic for Satsuma’s history and sense the flow of time from the past, present and to the future. Soft light reflects in water ripples and wraps temple/shrine-decor, which projects the passage of time. Geographical and historical significance of Satsuma is traced in threefold configuration: Main Building with two Side Buildings, which expresses strength/valiance and weakness/gentility, respectively. Range of kawara-tile paved roof and garden with water feature surrounded by rich nature with greenery is expected to stay with visitors’ memory as one of the scenes in Satsuma’s history.
2) Main Building reflecting Valiance & Side Buildings, Gentility
a)Main Building featuring Valiance of Satsuma-samurai
Main Building is in multi-layered half-hipped roof, six-ma (bay) in ridge direction and three-ma in span direction, which projects the dignity of Medieval temple in hongawara-buki, tiled roof of the ancient composition. Rigid columns, degeta (projected canopy) supported by powerful futanoki-kumimono (double-rafter composite), deep Mokoshi (eave structure attached to the peripheral of the exterior wall) together with two buildings in right and left, represent valiance of Satuma-hayato or Satsuma- warriors who stood against the turn of era and severe nature. The façade is the open-air cloister with colonnade through which wind blows and sun-light shines as if visitors are navigated to find the past. On three faces of the first story facing the pond, glazing and wood lattice-works embrace the building interior, whose design is to sense changes of time demonstrated by sun-light in connection with water surface. Thick Usubeni(light-Beni) colored wood lattice-works present various expressions both in the building interior and exterior as sight angle and/or sun-light change. Main Building is so designed as to produce contemporary, sophisticated yet warm beauty, which is not found in the traditional temples/shrines.
b)Side Buildings featuring Gentility of Satsuma Ladies
Side Buildings, positioned in the left and right of Main Building, is in half-hipped roof structure, three-ma both in ridge and span direction. The left- and right-side building houses Reception and Museum Shop, respectively. Low-keyed composites with slim columns quietly supporting single-rafter one-stepped bracket portray gracefulness and tenderness and represent reserved but dignified mentality of Satsuma-ogojo or Satsuma ladies in Edo era. Side Buildings are connected to Main Building via corridor across the pond, which intends visitors to walk through all the buildings, feeling light, wind, and aroma of Satsuma.
3) “Modern Satsuma Décor”: Contemporary Japanese-style Space unique to Satsuma Tradition
Building interior is designed to create “Modern Satsuma Décor”, contemporary Japanese-style space unique to Satsuma tradition addressing the harmony and differences of Japanese and foreign cultures to reflect the geographical and historical positioning of Satsuma in Japan. Essence of Satsuma tradition is enhanced with the pleasant space yet with the positive feeling of being out of place. “Ishin (Meiji Restoration) Room” with about 10 meter-high atrium is the center of Main Building, which is surrounded by the cloister with artwork exhibits on the 1st floor and by three exhibit rooms in a row on the 2nd floor. Screens with openwork in the motif of family crest of Shimazu-family (military governor of Satsuma province) located in the both sides of “Ishin Room” bring powerfulness and subtlety in line with coved lighting. These screens compose the symbolic wall treatment tracing the hidden energy of Satsuma.
4) Support Building
Support Building for M&E functions with the traditional kawara-tiled roof structure, which stands nicely and cleanly in the back of Main and Side Buildings, carries over the ambience created by three Buildings. Phoenix Room, Italian Restaurant, is in the oriental décor embracing the Western wind which blew into Satsuma. The oriental décor positioned next to the Japanese-style décor highlights the differences so that visitors would experience the differences between the two and be conscious of the passage of time.