Set in the idyllic forested mountains of Kochi, Japan, The Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum combines traditional Japanese architecture with modernism. Designed by Tokyo-based Kengo Kuma and Associates, the slatted timber structure visually joins two existing buildings separated by a road. The cantilever structure also houses a workshop and modest accommodation for the museum.
At first glance, the structure appears to be simply a bridge, fooling the eye into thinking there is no interior building within at all. Large timber beams criss-cross, building up the museum’s base. The beams vary in length (they’re shorter at the bottom) and gradually increase as the structure approaches the bridge walkway creating a triangular formation that reaches toward the ground. This shape also responds to the upward sloping of the surrounding mountains. The decreasing triangular form is unified and held strong with a support beam that holds court in the street between the two existing buildings.
Each end of the honeycombed wooden structure is met with rectangular glass towers, creating the effect that the bridge is floating. The glass towers house stairwells, but more importantly, make the deep colors of the surround evergreens visible through the building.
Inside, the alternating beams of the exterior are repeated in the ceiling of the cavernous long hall. Each end is capped with glass walls and doors, filling the space with natural light. The exhibition rooms along the hallway also have glass doors, which draws in light from their interior into the hallway. The timber beams used within the interior show the natural wood grain, which ties the inside to the natural landscape which surrounds the building.
Via Arch Daily