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June, 2023
Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa designed by SANAA (Ryue Nishizawa & Kazuyo Sejima) | Karuizawa, Japan © Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa

Presenting over 100 works of famed Japanese artist Hiroshi Senju, the HIROSHI SENJU MUSEUM KARUIZAWA is a gallery experience like no other. Filtering natural light throughout its internal glass volumes featuring small gardens inside that compliment the interior atmosphere throughout the day, the space presents a delightful harmony of architecture, art and nature.

Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa, designed by architect Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA | Photo: Joanna Kawecki
Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa, designed by architect Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA | Photo: Joanna Kawecki

Architect Ryue Nishizawa of Japanese architecture firm SANAA was appointed to lead the design for the revered Japanese artists’ eponymous museum. The artists’ paintings are organic and fluid in form with vivid brushstrokes abundant in colour and often in reference to the diverse beauty of nature.

Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa, designed by architect Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA | Photo: Joanna Kawecki

Located in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture in the quaint urban getaway destination of Karuizawa, the museum is nestled discreetly alongside a main road. The entrance features a roji-like pathway that guides guests through the walkway surrounded by green nature, setting a calm and cleansing tone prior to arrival.

HIROSHI SENJU MUSEUM KARUIZAWA | Image courtesy HIROSHI SENJU MUSEUM KARUIZAWA
Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa, designed by architect Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA | Photo: Joanna Kawecki

Over approximately 10000㎡, the steel frame reinforced concrete structure features delicate curves and slight floor sloping throughout that provide a harmonious experience when viewing Senju’s extraordinary paintings.

Architect Nishizawa explained, ‘Senju asked me to create an open, luminous space where people would observe his works, relax and spend time in contemplation. The museum, which gently hugs the natural slope of the site, has lighting controlled by deep eaves, silver screens, and UV cut glass while allowing in the greenery. The open space was designed to unite Kazurizawaʼs nature and Senjuʼs art. I wanted to create a union of park and space that felt as inviting as a private living room.’

HIROSHI SENJU MUSEUM KARUIZAWA | Image courtesy HIROSHI SENJU MUSEUM KARUIZAWA
Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa, designed by architect Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA | Photo: Joanna Kawecki

HIROSHI SENJU MUSEUM KARUIZAWA
815 Nagakura, Karuizawa,
Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0111

For more design and travel destinations in Japan, click here.

Text: Editor-in-Chief Joanna Kawecki
Images: As credited Champ Magazine©

June, 2023