Japan’s Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center, designed by Pritzker winner Shigeru Ban, is officially open to the public at a time when visibility of Japan’s highest peak is at its best. Located 20 miles southwest of Mt. Fuji in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, the sculptural building pays homage to Fuji with its inverted latticed cone that, when seen in the reflecting pool, mimics the shape of the famous dormant volcano.



Mt Fuji World Heritage Center by Shigeru Ban, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center Fujinomiya, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center Shizuoka, Shigeru Ban Fuji building, latticed timber cone architecture, mount fuji architecture

Mt Fuji World Heritage Center by Shigeru Ban, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center Fujinomiya, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center Shizuoka, Shigeru Ban Fuji building, latticed timber cone architecture, mount fuji architecture

Shigeru Ban’s design for the new Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center was selected from 238 entries in a competition commissioned shortly after Fuji was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. The highlight of the 3,400-square-meter facility is the viewing tower and ascent, where visitors walk up a 193-meter spiral slope simulating a climb up the Japan’s highest peak. Full-height glazing at the highest part of the tower frames views of the 3,776-meter-tall mountain.

Mt Fuji World Heritage Center by Shigeru Ban, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center Fujinomiya, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center Shizuoka, Shigeru Ban Fuji building, latticed timber cone architecture, mount fuji architecture

Mt Fuji World Heritage Center by Shigeru Ban, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center Fujinomiya, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center Shizuoka, Shigeru Ban Fuji building, latticed timber cone architecture, mount fuji architecture

Related: Shigeru Ban uses shipping containers and paper tubes to create a surprising mobile museum

Glass walls surround the Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center, giving it a sense of lightness, while the timber latticed cone is split between the interior and exterior. The facility also includes an exhibition room with a 4K theater and a touch screen with clips explicating the beliefs, culture, and nature of Mount Fuji. The Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center opened December 23, 2017.

+ Shigeru Ban

Images via Shigeru Ban

Mt Fuji World Heritage Center by Shigeru Ban, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center Fujinomiya, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center Shizuoka, Shigeru Ban Fuji building, latticed timber cone architecture, mount fuji architecture

Mt Fuji World Heritage Center by Shigeru Ban, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center Fujinomiya, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center Shizuoka, Shigeru Ban Fuji building, latticed timber cone architecture, mount fuji architecture

Mt Fuji World Heritage Center by Shigeru Ban, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center Fujinomiya, Mt Fuji World Heritage Center Shizuoka, Shigeru Ban Fuji building, latticed timber cone architecture, mount fuji architecture