Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art
80-1, Hamamachi
Marugame City
Kagawa Prefecture 763

Yoshio Taniguchi 1991

To commemorate the 90th anniversary of the city of Marugame, Yoshio Taniguchi was commissioned to design a museum to house the works of the artist Genichiro Inokuma who had donated his works of art to the city.

The museum, designed as a ‘station front’ art museum, is located on the same urban plaza as the main train station. Because of its proximity and relation to the central transportation hub of Marugame it is a museum that can be accessed by all.


The scale of the building operates at both an urban scale and, in the interior, on a more intimate scale. The principal facade on the plaza is a triple height plane which folds over to frame the grand entry stair and an opaque volume enclosing the exhibition space.

The visitor may enter directly from plaza level into the exhibition gallery, choose to take the grand stair to enter the exhibition gallery at the second level or to access the Art Library, Museum Hall, Workshop and Creative Studio or continue to the upper level which leads to an exterior courtyard. This courtyard contains sculpture by the artist and a wall washed with water. Another wall of glass is the facade of the café from which visitors can look into the serene courtyard whose walls frame the sky.

The museum is composed of three exhibition galleries; the first is a double-height cubic space that overlooks the entry and information lobby on the ground floor and is gently illuminated by natural light from a horizontal band of clerestory glazing. The overhanging planar roof protects the works of art from daylight while framing views out to the city from the upper level.

The second gallery, at the same level as the first, is illuminated only by artificial light, a glowing rectangular band in the ceiling where it meets the wall. Finally, the third exhibition gallery located on the third level is more rectangular in volume and larger in area.

Taniguchi uses a similar architectural language of horizontal and vertical planes, yet in a different context, at the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures at the Tokyo National Museum in Tokyo. This language allows for a spatial abstraction of the architecture that only compliments the works of art.

Kari Silloway 2004  


How to visit

Getting there

By Shinkansen super express change at Okayama Station, take an express train on either the Yosan line (toward Matsuyama) or the Dosan line (toward Kochi) to Marugame Station. The museum is immediately to the right as you exit the station.

Time required: Tokyo to Okayama approx. 4 hours, Okayama to Marugame approx. 35 minutes.

Opening hours

10am to 6pm (last entry 5:30pm), closed December 25-31.

For more information please telephone +81 877-24-7755.

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