A visit to International Library of Children,s Literature at Ueno Park


 The visitors pass the entrance which looks like a glass box, climb up the black stairs and arrive at a lounge on third floor.

It was a lounge which also was like a glass box. It was constructed in addition to the original building. It was sunny inside as though it was out of doors.
The visitors can take a good look at the exterior wall of the original building made of white bricks and the old and wooden framed glass windows at close range. The exhibition room is inside this wall adjoined to the lounge.

  The book museum on the third floor

 When I entered the room, I felt it somehow dark on my feet. The ceiling was sculptured in white plaster. There were two large and tall round shaped furnitures placed in the room. Picture books from all over the countries were displayed in the cases layed on the floor lighted at hand. All kinds of tapestries were pasted on the walls of the round shaped furnitures giving rather a restless impression. The display was done likewise around the inner walls of round shaped furnitures. The lightings were hung right above them illuminating the circle patterns of the plastered ceiling. The guard was on duty indeed watching over the visitors.

 Open stack book room, second floor(second resources room)

The ceiling was lighted brightly as well and the bookcases were dyed in darkbrown. The color of floor was toned down also coordinated in brown and it was giving a composed atmosphere. Since the pillars stood inside the room the spatial atmosphere seemed concentrated. I felt that it was very nice. Here the visitors are recommended to make user,s card.

 Children,s room ,first floor

May we play hide and seek here?

When I entered the room it was so bright that I felt much relieved . The atmosphere was entirely different from the dark and pressed tone of all the rooms I had come through. It was an abstract space, not in any style. The most effective direction of all was the homogeneous lighting which covered the whole ceiling. Here, it looked as though children were allowed to romp about in the room. In fact, there were chats heard all around endlessly. The librarian was explaining to the visitors about how to use the room. “ This room is the brightest and the most beautiful room in the library.” She was saying so, wasn,t she?

 The next room, A room to learn about the world, first floor

Here, the atmosphere alters once again. It was dark and tranquil.


There were children playing rock-paper-scissors at the yard in front of a curtain wall. It,s all right to play around as one likes since it is out of doors,you know. I certainly agreed with the children. Maybe the strict impression of the guardman made me feel this way.

 By the way, the homogeneous lighting covering the whole ceiling of “children,s room” reminded me of the lighting effect which was used in “time,s 1”. In that case, the lighted ceiling above the stairway descending to lavatory in the basement floor was producing opened and unexpected atmosphere in contrast to the dark alley like spaces of the upper floors. As I entered the “children,s room” this time I felt so relieved once again. This time in this library project, the contrast, such as from darkness to lightness producing an atmosphere of relief, is found further on. It is found in the contrast between the architectural space in style and the abstract architectural space. The importance in style is somewhat lightened by abstraction. Further more the contrast was clear between the exhibition room where the visitor was not allowed to touch and the open stack room where the user was able to take books freely on their own, thus producing a feeling of relief again. It was quite clear that the room was provided for children with extremely low ceiling together with the small round shaped furnitures. In this work again, I felt how the architet had tried to have a communication in high level with the general audience, here with the children. This building is large in scale and the simultaneous presence of modern architecture and stylized architecture seems struggling. But I thought that the architectural expression is concentrated in the homogeneously lighted ceiling of the “children,s room” this time. Because the main contrastive component is revealed in the combination of lightness and darkness which is seen through the whole building.
Pondering over the situation of children today, my soliloquy goes on. Even though this design may look roundabout this might be the way of affection possible for the children through architecture. What seems to be indirect in consistency may express the art of architecture.

 What is it all about that keeps me referring to the relationship between the architect and the general audience ? It may be only my self-will. However, what I feel from participating and observing the architecture at the real site is so touching and impressive. I must stress that what I feel at the real site is so deep. Belief in this discovery led me to continue writing about it. It is shown that in this era of high consumption, consumption will not be powered up without a direct contact with consumers, the general audience. This fact is proved by the works of architects as expression of our time. What makes this deep impression upon experience seems to come from this expression of our time. The theme of architecture has now reached a new point, a new place. It is not the knowledge, not the style, or not the form, but what one feels through experience, which is a place of communication in high level with the general audience.

  Architecture expressing the directness of body
Kasai Rinkai Park Viewpoint Plaza crystal view=
both the people inside and outside of the building look at each other.
Gallery of Horyuji Treasures=the feeling of directness in facing the exhibition as if there were no cases and lighting
hh-style= big stairs out of size, can skip mounting the steps
Otaku Kyuyomura Tobu 
slanted passageway following the slanted ground
Iidabashi First Building 
elevator hall as if to jump out to sky
Sendai Mediatheque a new spatial component,
no boundary between the room and the passageway

   Architecture composed by experiencing the space
time,s 1  relief from the dark alley like space to homogeneously lighted sanitary space
International Children,s Library relief from the exhibited book room to open stack book room
Kyoto Station Building large and small stairs, south and north passageway, plaza with various faces,  
Tokyo International Forum urbanism in the glass building
Koga General Park Cafeteria architecture fading in a crowd

   From stuffed doll ornamental architecture to architecture
Oedo Subway Station Iidabashi architecture developed from Disney like ornamental architecture

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