Mizuta Museum of Art

The Mizuta Museum of Art houses a collection of Ukiyo-e prints. The Japanese term translates as “pictures of the floating world,” and it provided the central theme for Studio SUMO’s design: Gallery volumes appear to float within a concrete wrapper.

On the north end of the building, the delicacy of the Ukiyo-e prints being displayed within prevented the use of glass. Here, wood panels, covered with trellises that will host climbing vines, contrast with the concrete.

East façade showing cuts through the concrete panels.

Exterior at night.

The lower level of the two-story museum is sunk halfway below grade. A glass-enclosed information center (which can also host lectures and some exhibitions) is surrounded by a terrace accessed by stairs.

The main circulation for the museum is a series of ramps that are contained within the wrapper but not isolated from the elements.

The glazed wall of the lower-level multipurpose space offers views out to the beginning of the museum’s ramp system.

Internal stairs enclosed by wood-clad walls provide alternative circulation to the gallery reception area, which offers access into the galleries.

View from inside the lower-level information center.

Pieces from the university's collection of Ukiyo-e prints are rotated from off-site storage and into carefully crafted display cases in one the musem's galleries. With black-stained wood floors, and black-painted walls and ceiling, the focus in the room is placed squarely on these "pictures of the floating world."

One of two galleries on the upper level is used for the display of paintings and other works that can withstand exposure to more standard light levels.

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