Architecture as a Journey – Chichu Art Museum by Tadao Ando

There are many ways that architects can consider how their buildings might be experienced.

In some cases, the visitor is allowed complete autonomy in discovering the building. Another is the curated experience defined by the architectural elements of the project itself. A more specific experience. A defined and linear journey.

The Chichu Art Museum is located on Naoshima Island in Japan and was designed by Tadao Ando. Chichu means ‘under the earth’, and the gallery is located almost entirely subterranean. From above, the gallery looks like a series of isolated shapes; triangles and rectangles, however when you enter the building, you enter Ando’s highly curated and linear interpretation of how you best to experience the art and architecture.

The plan appears as two main clusters of spaces, connected by a narrow corridor, however when you look closer at the plan or experience the building yourself, you’ll see that narrow corridors are utilised throughout these main clusters, somewhat like a maze, as a means of navigating you through the exhibitions. A contraction, then expansion.

It leads to an interesting question; do you think the architect should curate the experience of a building… Or, should the visitor be left to their own devices?