Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art 
1-1-1, Wakihamakaigandori 
Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo
651-0073 Japan

Tadao Ando 2001

Located on the Kobe waterfront between the Rokko Mountain Range to the north and the Seto Inland Sea and Port of Kobe to the south, the museum was planned integrally with the Kobe Waterfront Plaza as part of the reconstruction scheme after the Kobe Earthquake in 1995 that destroyed much of the city and took many lives.

The Museum is composed of three rectangular volumes that sit parallel to each other on a base platform of white granite, which steps up through a series of grand stairs, ramps and plazas from the Waterfront Plaza. The rectangular volumes are oriented longitudinally along a north-south axis and are separated by exterior plazas that allow for framed views towards the mountains and Kobe cityscape and in the opposite direction towards the sea. 

On the waterfront side the rectangular volumes are more open with the flat concrete slab overhanging roofs forming a protective enclosure to an outdoor space and its transparent curtain wall facades. In contrast the 'backside', oriented towards the city and vehicular traffic, is less welcoming clad in a skin of dark metal.

Each of the volumes encloses another volume of concrete containing the temporary and permanent exhibition galleries, auditorium, and studio spaces. Between the two volumes are the circulation and rest areas which are animated by light and shadow.


The form of the building is very similar to that of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth which Ando was designing at the same time in Fort Worth, Texas. It was the museum in Kobe that served Ando as a prototype for the one in Fort Worth.

Kari Silloway 2004

How to visit

From Iwaya Station on the Hanshin Line walk southward for about 8 minutes.

From Nada Station on the JR Line walk southward from the south exit of the station for about 10 minutes.

From Oji Koen Station on the Hankyu Line walk southwestward from the west exit of the station for about 15 minutes.

The museum is open 10am-6pm Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday; and 10am-8pm Friday and Saturday.

For more information see www.artm.pref.hyogo.jp, email museum@artm.pref.hyogo.jp or telephone +81 78-262-0901.

Books and other web sites

Click the book title to view and to order direct from


Tadao Ando: Light and Water
Tadao Ando, Kenneth Frampton, Massimo Vignelli

Readable, beautifully presented book featuring works by Tadao Ando


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