An Art Paradise in the Mountains (Part 1)

Miho Museum is located in the deep forest of Koka, Japan as one describes “An Art Paradise in the Mountains”. It was named after Koyama Mihoko, one of the richest women in Japan and the founder of the museum.

I.M. Pei, who designed the museum architecture, had brought “The Tale of Peach Blossom Spring” (a famous folk story in China) to live.

The silvery tunnel, illuminated by the daylight leads you to the beautiful facade of the museum.

Here is the first glimpse of the Museum as you pass through the tunnel:

The geometric structure clearly evokes the wooden roof of a traditional minka — a Japanese farmhouse. The scene is like a painting on a Japanese folding fan:

The sliding glass door is in a perfect circle when closed, which is the traditional Chinese moon gate:

Entering the museum, you see a large wall of glass revealing a picturesque view of trees and mountains.

“I am convinced that light is the key to its success for architecture” — I.M. Pei

I.M. Pei has won a wide variety of prizes and awards in the field of architecture, including the AIA Gold Medal in 1979, the first Praemium Imperiale for Architecture in 1989, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in 2003. In 1983, he won the Pritzker Prize, sometimes called the Nobel Prize of architecture.

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The Tale of Peach Blossom Spring:

Once upon a time there was a fisherman in Buryo, East China, who was fishing by a stream in the mountains and accidentally found a wonderful orchard full of peach trees in bloom. Impressed by the beauty of this springtime scene, he continued paddling to the end of the grove, where he noticed a ray of light coming from a small cave at the foot of a mountain. He jumped out of his boat and entered the cave that, through a narrow road, led him into a splendid town with a beautiful countryside and hospitable people who welcomed him for several days.

In spring, you are like entering the Tale of Peach Blossom (photo from the Miho Museum website):

We visited the Miho Museum in October 2017.

I.M. Pei is 101 years old, part II of this series will be posted on his birthday on April 26th.

 Thank you for visiting!

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