Story of Architecture. Yoshiki Nakajima has started a new series in which he appreciates and experiences all kinds of art. The first theme is “architecture.” We visited “Jyu Gakuen Myonichikan,” (built in 2021 by Frank Lloyd Wright, America) one of the modern buildings designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan and touched on the distinctive designs and colours that can only be found here, as well as the “mystery.” Originally, his art in art is sharpened more and more.
Admire the mystery created by calculated. Nakajima: It looks like the photo will have a solemn atmosphere (laughs). He was guided by Ryu Fukuda-san, the vice-director of Jyu Gakuen Myonichikan, and quickly made his way into the building.
First, a view of the exterior from the west classroom of Myonichikan. Nakajima: Even though the cream colour of the building and the green window frames are scarce, they are still in harmony. It seems that he was already fascinated by the simple colour beauty created by Frank Lloyd Wright and the style of the external appearance.
After that, go through the corridor to the hall on the first floor of the two-story central building. The ceiling near the entrance is low, but this is the idea of lighting that makes the open space beyond it wider. When you enter the hall from the outdoors through a narrow space, you feel a sense of openness even in a space that is by no means large. I was surprised that architecture appealed not only to the sense of sight but also to the consciousness.
The glass windows are arranged like stained glass in a church. I sat down on a row of chairs while staring at it. What catches your eye is the cherry tree, which is the symbol tree of Myonichikan, in the back of the garden. The chairs in the hall are said to have been designed by Wright or by his disciple, Arata Endo, and the consistency of the design can be seen even in such an interior. Nakajima: The fact that the back of this chair has the same shape as the window frame and roof is another example of the designer’s design. You can feel the design, and this atrium is a mysterious space. “Calculation” has a wicked connotation, so at first glance it seems to be the opposite of mystery, but as I walk through Myonichikan, I feel that mysteries can be born as a result of calculations.
In the hall, you can also appreciate frescoes that were discovered during restoration work. This picture was drawn on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the founding, and I can only feel the breathing of the schoolgirls in the early Showa era. Nakajima: Time flows so peacefully that I want to stay forever.
Next, go to the dining room on the second floor. Shortly after it was built, students used to cook and eat their own meals as part of their education. The unique shape of the lightning suspended in the centre is captivating. Nakajima: It’s so modern that I want it in my house.
They enjoyed the wonderful balance between the lighting design and the high ceiling. The last auditorium we visited is also used as a concert venue, and the calculation shined here as well. If you sit in the seats on the second floor, the seats on the first floor will be hidden, allowing you to concentrate more on the stage. Nakajima-san himself has stood on various stages as a voice actor and artist. Nakajima: Both as a performer and as a spectator, I feel very close to the stage. It’s difficult to make comparisons between theatre because the techniques are probably different, but I think the reason why the designers put their ingenuity into such details is because they have respect for the audience and the performers. Perhaps because I toured around while listening to stories about how the building was built and when it was built, I felt the passion of people in all the details. As someone involved in making things, it really stimulated my sensibilities.” The building’s 100th anniversary will soon be remembered by Yoshiki Nakajima.