The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art stands in the center of Kanazawa. The building includes community gathering spaces, such as a library, lecture hall, and childrens workshop, as well as museum spaces. The public and museum zones are organized to provoke interrelation, with the public spaces encircling the museum.
The site links together the diverse but equally important city functions surrounding it. Circular in form, the building has no front or back, leaving it free to be explored from all directions. The exhibition area is fragmented into numerous galleries that are all embedded in circulation space. This approach offers specificity to the gallery spaces yet flexibility for the museum routing, with multiple options for division into smaller exhibitions, expansion, or concentration of the ticketed area. The scattered bulk of the galleries provide transparency, with views from the periphery into the center and vistas through the entire depth of the building. A walk just inside the curved glass of the exterior facade smoothly unfolds a 360 degrees panorama of the site.
Gallery spaces are of various proportions and light conditions from bright daylight through glass ceilings with a blackout possibility, to spaces with no natural light source. Their heights range from 4 meters to 12 meters. Circulation spaces are designed in a way making them useable as additional exhibition areas. Four fully glazed internal courtyards, each unique in character, provide ample daylight to the center and a fluent border between public zone and museum zone. While it is a very large building, the feeling is bright, open, and free.