Amongst a group of finalists who had submitted proposals for a world heritage center to be built at the foot of Japan’s Mt. Fuji, one proposal clearly stood out from the rest. All the architects had proposed a roof that mimics Mt. Fuji except for one, which had the shape of a mountain but inverted; turned upside down on its head. Thinking it would be impossible to compete with Mt. Fuji no matter what kind of beautiful roof he proposed, Shigeru Ban decided to peruse a different, opposite path. His proposal was selected and, on December 22, 2017, the Fujisan World Heritage Center opened.
The new Fujisan World Heritage Center, which aims to be a base for welcoming guests and communicating the significance of Japan’s highest peak, features an inversely shaped latticed cone made from locally-sourced hinoki wood. The actual shape of Mt. Fuji can be seen reflected off of the large surrounding pool.
Inside, visitors can “climb” from the ground level to the 5th floor on a sloped spiral walkway. The top floor offers stunning views of the actual Mt. Fuji.