The village of Matsudai is located deep in the mountains of the Niigata-prefecture. Once every three years in the summertime, the Niigata Art Triennial is held in the region. During this festival, the building operates as the event's main stage. The building itself is supported on ‘legs’, these not only create a snow-free zone beneath it in winter and a shaded plaza in summer, but they also form the physical structure, dividing up the different functional spaces on the inside.
Location: Matsudai, Matsudai Niigata prefecture, Japan
Client: Art Front Gallery, Tokyo and the Municipality of Matsudai Japan
Program: 1,500m2 exhibition space, shop, classrooms and auditorium
Address: Matsudai Nobutai, Matsudai 3743-1, Tokamachi-city, Niigata
Art Front Gallery Tel: 81(0)3 3476 4868
By car from Tokyo: Kanetsu Highway, via Muikamachi I.C, Route 253
By train from Tokyo: JR, Jyoetsu Shinkansen, via Echigo-Yuzawa Station - Hokuhoku Line
The village of Matsudai is located deep in the mountains of the Niigata-prefecture. The summers are hot and humid and during winters the region is covered with a thick layer of snow, often more than 3m deep. The cultural centre is situated between the Shibumi-river and the HokuHoku train line, not far from Matsudai station.It provides a variety of spaces including a museum for local art and history, a cafe and performance venues.
Once every three years in the summertime, the ‘Niigata Art Triennial’ (art-festival) is held in the region. During this festival, the area under the building will operate as the main stage for the many events taking place. By lifting the building into the air, the area under the building will be a snow-free zone in winter and a dry and shaded plaza during summer. Under this roof, plays, dance shows and concerts can be held. The lifting act has the added benefit of making the centre more visible from the village, from which is it divided by the railway line, as well as avoiding the pressure from snow on its sides.
The building is supported by bridge-like ‘legs’ that give access to people coming from different directions, such as the station, parking or the park next to the river. These legs form the physical structure of the building and generate a column-free space underneath. The leg-spaces are free from the weather conditions and cut through the building dividing it into different programmatic elements.
On the rooftop, a ‘rocky’ landscape is formed according to the dynamic forces in the building which are carried by leg-shaped stairs. This artificial ‘icy’ roof landscape will provide an attractive playground and viewing platform to the mountains. It might also remind summer visitors of the wintertime when Matsudai will be hidden under a massive layer of snow.
Design: MVRDV - Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, and Nathalie de Vries
Design Team: Jacob van Rijs, Fokke Moerel, Frans de Witte with Yasutaka Yoshimura, Marc Feustel and Arvid Wölfel
Associated Architect: SUPER-OS, Tokyo, Japan: Yasutaka Yoshimura, Michiyo Kawabe, Hidetaka Yoshimura
Co-architect: CLIP-architects, Tokyo, Japan
Structure: Masahiro Ikeda Architecture Studio, Tokyo, Japan and Sasaki and Partners, Tokyo, Japan
Services: ES Associates, Tokyo, Japan