The Chichu Art Museum by Tadao Ando, which literally means “art museum in the earth” is a unique modern art museum located on the art island of Noshima in Japan.
The museum, home to over five distinctive art galleries was designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. It was constructed in 2004 as a site rethinking the relationship between nature and the people, which is now a major tourist attraction.
The museum was built mostly underground to avoid affecting the beautiful natural scenery of the Seto Inland sea. Artworks by Claude Monet, James Turrell, and Walter De Maria are on permanent display in this building designed by Tadao Ando.
Despite being primarily subterranean, the museum lets in an abundance of natural light that changes the appearance of the artworks and the ambience of the concrete space itself with the passage of time, throughout the day and all along the four seasons of the year.Taking form as the artists and architect bounced ideas off each other, the museum in its entirety can be seen as a very large site-specific artwork.
The brutalist-style approach was taken by Tadao Ando for the Chichu Art Museum. Usage of concrete was done to create clean lines and built-in decorations. The simple approach to the details such as the empty areas of the museum has been considered in terms of the experience of the person moving through space.
Strong forms and unique materials are used underground. This passionate attempt to create a space where the visitors experience the work purely despite being underground where they are completely cut off from the outside world, making their perceptions sensitive, concentrating solely on the artwork, is a bold concept.