the highly-anticipated mt. fuji world heritage center designed by shigeru ban has opened in japan — a landmark that celebrates the mountain’s relatively recent status as a UNESCO site and its symbolic value in the country. selected ahead of 238 competing proposals, the scheme is articulated around an inversely shaped latticed cone that references the shape of the dormant volcano, a site that has provided a spiritual basis for the japanese people since ancient times.

 

designboom was invited to visit the mt. fuji world heritage center ahead of its opening, and recently spoke to shigeru ban in his tokyo office to discuss the details of the project.

shigeru ban mt fuji
image © designboom

 

 

the mt. fuji world heritage center intends to provide future generations with a dedicated space to understand and observe the importance of the mountain, renowned for its symmetry and serenity. the 4,300 square meter complex features an observation hall which offers spectacular panoramic views of the landscape. visitors can climb a 193 meter spiral slope leading to the viewing tower, which shigeru ban has designed to mimic the feeling of ascending the mountain itself.

shigeru ban mt fuji
image © designboom

 

 

‘besides me, everyone [who submitted competition proposals] designed a roof resembling the fuji mountain — but I thought it’s impossible to compete with the fuji mountain in front. so I did it the other way around,’ commented shigeru ban during our interview. ‘inside, there is this kind of experience where you climb up the fuji mountain. along a slope, we have a very beautiful light projection of the mountain. while you’re climbing up, you can see the beautiful images of the different heights of the fuji mountain when you climb it. at the end of the slope, on the top floor, there is a penthouse with a sort of ‘picture window’ that frames the real fuji mountain.’

shigeru ban mt fuji
image © designboom

shigeru ban mt fuji
image © designboom

shigeru ban mt fuji
image © designboom

shigeru ban mt fuji
image © designboom

shigeru ban mt fuji
seeing the museum shop and cafe from the third floor
image © designboom

shigeru ban mt fuji
third floor
image © designboom

shigeru ban mt fuji
movie theater
image © designboom

shigeru ban mt fuji
movie theater detail
image © designboom

shigeru ban mt fuji
seeing the ground floor from the third floor
image © designboom

shigeru ban mt fuji
exhibition space with slope
image © designboom

shigeru ban mt fuji
view of mount fuji from the observation hall
image © designboom

 


image courtesy shigeru ban architects


image courtesy shigeru ban architects


image courtesy shigeru ban architects


image courtesy shigeru ban architects


image courtesy shigeru ban architects


image courtesy shigeru ban architects


image courtesy shigeru ban architects


image courtesy shigeru ban architects


image courtesy shigeru ban architects


image courtesy shigeru ban architects

 

 

 

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