A Third Space: Bridging the Gap in Japanese Galleries

Gabrielle Golenda Gabrielle Golenda

In the past few decades, in addition to the traditional role of collecting, preserving, and sharing collections, galleries and museums are increasingly becoming involved with supporting local, national, and international communities. Beyond exhibition spaces, cultural institutions house a myriad of mixed-use spaces, including process labs, artist-in-residence wings, and immersion rooms.

Given that today’s cultural institutions are mixed-use developments by nature, intermediary spaces are often introduced as a solution to create a flexible third space that bridges the gap between exhibition space, other multi-purpose spaces, and the surrounding area. From shipping containers to hypersonic wind tunnels, this collection explores the unique in-between spaces that tie Japanese cultural institutions together.

© Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier

© Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier

© Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier

© Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier

© Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier

© Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier

Gallery Monma Annex by Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier, Sapporo, Japan

Beneath the eaves of a mid 20th-century residence, this rectangular gallery annex was inserted into the renovated storage room. The close-quartered white hallway functions as an unexpected exhibition space as well as a tunnel to the outdoor terrace.

Space Lab by Kohki Hiranuma Architect & Associates, Tokyo, Japan

Located on the campus of Tokyo University, this project constructed only from wood allows natural light to enter gaps in the wall, creating a lighting scheme that varies over time and through seasons. The wooden exhibition area is intended as an intermediary space between the campus and the surrounding park.

© Kengo Kuma and Associates

© Kengo Kuma and Associates

© Kengo Kuma and Associates

© Kengo Kuma and Associates

© Kengo Kuma and Associates

© Kengo Kuma and Associates

Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum by Kengo Kuma and Associates, Takaoko, Japan

Bridging two existing structures separated by a road, the wooden slatted bridge visually and physically connects both spaces: providing not only a passageway, but also a workshop and location for artist-in-residence programs.

Red-Light Yokohama by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architect, Yokohama, Japan

This long and narrow space in a small terraced house in the red-light district of Yokohama was divided into two sections to create a meaningful connection with the place and its past. When passing from the green room into the white room, one experiences a phenomenon called the persistence complementary color where the white room momentarily appears red.

©  Hirokazu Suemitsu + Yoko Suemitsu/SUEP.

© Hirokazu Suemitsu + Yoko Suemitsu/SUEP.

©  Hirokazu Suemitsu + Yoko Suemitsu/SUEP.

© Hirokazu Suemitsu + Yoko Suemitsu/SUEP.

©  Hirokazu Suemitsu + Yoko Suemitsu/SUEP.

© Hirokazu Suemitsu + Yoko Suemitsu/SUEP.

Forest Hammock Gallery by Hirokazu Suemitsu + Yoko Suemitsu/SUEP, Fukuoka, Japan

Web-like cutouts between the roof and floor of this gallery merge the surrounding natural landscape with the interior space. Enclosing the neighboring trees, the suspended roof structure acts as a canopy for the interior patio.

© Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects

© Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects

© Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects

© Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects

© Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects

© Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects

CC4441 by Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects, Tokyo, Japan

On a corner in the Torigoe district of Tokyo, Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects configured two ISO (International Organization for Standardization) marine containers in an irregular composition. On the ground level one of the pods is split and separated, providing a flexible gallery space. Stacked on top, the second volume houses a small office.

© CSA, Japan

© CSA, Japan

© CSA, Japan

© CSA, Japan

© CSA, Japan

© CSA, Japan

IIS Anniversary Hall, University of Tokyo by CSA, Japan, Tokyo, Japan

Integrating the boundary between new and old, the renovation of the ISS Anniversary Hall at Tokyo University revives the building both by changing the experimental room where the first hypersonic wind tunnel was installed in Japan, and by adding an entrance foyer. Covered in a glass-etched curtain wall, the new foyer situates visitors in the context of the renovation.

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