Manila’s concrete jungle will soon be home to a surprising green oasis. Kengo Kuma unveiled plans for the Museum of Indigenous Knowledge in the Philippines, a 9,000-square-meter complex that will be set inside and below a giant hollowed-out rock. The museum will be surrounded with a lush, oasis-like setting and artificial ravine, creating an incredible juxtaposition against Manila’s urban streets.
Located on a street corner, the eye-catching museum frames its cave-like entrance with a massive plant-covered rock arch. Inside, it appears that almost every surface is covered with lush tropical plantings, which will grow around the ravine’s waterfalls and ponds. The jungle-like aesthetic was inspired by the museum’s order of exhibitions, which will begin with the Philippine’s Neolithic period.
In contrast to the wild appearance of the entrance, the museum interior is more contemporary with clean lines, a minimal color palette, golden woven-textured surfaces and glass balustrades, and escalators that descend to the underground galleries. The museum shop and restaurant are located on street level. ”The theme of this museum is to offer its visitors an experience of the Philippines’ cultural heritage, starting from the Neolithic age,” said the firm. “Based on its concept, we aim to build a natural and organic museum by combining water and green in the cave-shaped space, contrary to the image of museums as closed boxes. It is also an attempt to revive cohabitation of nature and history in the urban environment.”
Images via Kengo Kuma