All images © Simose Art Museum
Stretching over an area of 4.6 hectares and situated alongside the picturesque Seto Inland Sea in Hiroshima is the Simose Art Garden Villa. Designed by architect Shigeru Ban (previously), the newly opened destination comprises ten villas, a restaurant, and is built around the Simose Art Museum.
The museum is made up of three buildings—an entrance building, a special exhibition building, and an administrative building—all running parallel to the coastline. These buildings are integrated with a 190m long and 8.5m high “mirror glass screen,” which hides the surrounding large buildings while amplifying the beauty of the Seto Inland Sea.
Adding to the allure of this site is a floating museum comprised of eight movable exhibition rooms covered with colored glass. Reserved only for guests, the rooms are home to masters like Matisse, Chagall, and Kaii Higashiyama.
Inspired by the many islands floating in the Seto Inland Sea, the rooms can be rearranged into eight different layouts depending on the exhibition. And you don’t need any heavy machinery to move them around – just adjust the water level and watch them effortlessly shift into a new configuration. You can even connect the rooms with bridges or arrange them side-by-side for an immersive experience. It’s a unique and versatile exhibition space that offers endless creative possibilities.
the museum cafe
On the north side of the site, you’ll discover five ‘Waterside villas’ each with distinct interiors and a spacious terrace overlooking the Seto Inland Sea. The design incorporates ‘Kielsteg‘ a wooden stressed skin panel developed in Austria that enables small cross-sections to create a large-span structure. Kielsteg’s unique cross-section with curved webs allows it to function not only as a normal floor slab but also as a wall.
While on the south side, you’ll find five ‘Forest villas’ nestled among the trees. Four prominent projects from across the country have been recreated namely Wall-Less House, Paper House, Double-Roof House and Furniture House alongside Cross Wall House, which is newly designed.
Cross Wall House
Like the design team puts it ‘Our concept is stay in iconic architecture by the sea‘, its a place for people to enjoy art whilst also staying in one that complements their taste. Hence, blurring the worlds of art and hospitality.