Architectural models are an essential part of architecture and the city planning process – a concrete means by which the architect communicates and visualizes a plan before it is built and, effectively, becomes permanent. But these miniature models are works of art in their own right. But these models are only occasionally made available to the public: they’re pulled out of storage only when an architect is featured in an exhibition. But finally, Japan is getting its first museum dedicated to miniature architecture models.
On June 18, 2016, Archi-Depot will open on Tennozu Isle in Tokyo’s Shinagawa district. Boasting a 450 sq m (4840 sq ft) space with 5.2 m (17 ft) ceilings, Archi-Depot will be lined with over 100 shelves all dedicated to the permanent display of architecture models. According to Fashionsnap, the organization has already secured models made by architectural luminaries like Kengo Kuma, Jun Aoki and Shigeru Ban, as well as a younger generation of architects like Wonderwall and Torafu. And they’ll continue to add to their collection.
Each model will be accompanied by a QR code that you can scan with your smartphone to bring up more information like photos of the completed work. The space itself is operated by Terada Warehouse, a company that specializes in the storage of valuables like art and wine. Tennozu Isle, where Archi-Depot is located, was previously an industrial hub for airlines and freight companies because of its proximity to the water and Haneda Airport. But the area has undergone significant redevelopment in recent years in an attempt to rebrand itself as an isle with “art & heart.”
Terada Warehouse has played their part too, repurposing some of their ground floor space. Last year they opened pigment, an amazing art supply store. And now, a museum for architecture models.