Museum Architecture

 Architectural Prize Kurashiki City Art Museum

Architectural Prize

Kurashiki City Art Museum (KCAM) was opened in 1983. The remarkable building was designed by TANGE Kenzo and remodeled by URABE Shizutaro. Not only our collections but the museum itself is an artwork with many points of interest. Here we would like to trace the unique history of the building.

KCAM was designated as a Tangible Cultural Property (structures) in March 2020. Designed by TANGE Kenzo, the building is a good example that represents the philosophy of Modernism in architecture. The structure is quite dynamic-with thick pillars supporting a 20-meters-long girder. The building made entirely of exposed concrete. The 10-meter-high ceilings of the entrance hall, attracts the attention of visitors.



Museum History
ーArchitect TANGE Kenzo built The Kurashiki City Hall at the center of the city

The building, known as KCAM today, was originally built as The Kurashiki City Hall. In 1958, it was planned as part of an urban planning project to promote the development of Kurashiki including Mizushima coastal industrial area A world-famous architect, TANGE Kenzo, designed the hall in 1960. He commented,“I designed the building which symbolizes the tradition of Kurashiki and its development. I wish this place to feel familiar to citizens.

TANGE Kenzo (1913-2005), one of Japan’s most honored architects, was born in Osaka. His significant works such as Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, National Gymnasiums for the Tokyo Olympics, and The New Tokyo City Hall Complex are well-known globally. These distinctive works established his name as an internationally renowned architect. He received the Order of Culture in 1980 and won the Pritzker Prize, regarded as the Nobel Prize of architecture, in 1987.

museum wall
Panoramic view of the museum

Kurashiki City Hall reborn as a museum

In 1980 Kurashiki City Hall moved to a new location further south in Kurashiki. After that, a plan was made to convert the former city hall building into a museum. The structure of the city hall that, Kenzo Tange designed, was very suitable for museum use. The ceiling was high and there were no steps or obstacles on the fist floor.

Meanwhile, IKEDA Yoson, a painter born in Okayama, donated 489 paintings to Kurashiki. With this as a turning point, the city hall was planned to be renovated as a museum.

In 1982, Shizutaro Urabe, a prominent architect born in Kurashiki, remodeled the former city hall TANGE Kenzo designed.

Since the museum was opened in 1983, the landmark building has been loved by the people of Kurashiki.


2-6-1 Chuo, Kurashiki City, Okayama 710-0046 JAPAN[MAP] Tel.086- 425-6034 Fax.086-425-6036 Inquiry

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