Shigeru Ban to design Mount Fuji visitors’ centre

World Heritage site centre resembles upside-down latticed cone - an architectural inversion of the mountain itself
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Mount Fuji World Heritage Center - Shigeru Ban Architects
Mount Fuji World Heritage Center - Shigeru Ban Architects

Last summer, UNESCO made Japan’s highest and most renowned peak, Mount Fuji, a World Heritage Site. Naturally, such a site needs a decent visitors’ centre, so after trawling through 238 competition entries, the review committee picked Shigeru Ban.

Full details of the scheme are still under wraps but from the photo posted reproduced above from the architect's website his scheme resembles an upside-down latticed cone - in effect an architectural inversion of the mountain itself.  

The 3,776m volcano straddling Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures is celebrated for its religious significance, so no doubt the 4,300sq-m structure will feature plenty of cultural references inside. Slated to cost ¥2.4bn and expected to complete in 2016, this is likely to be another understated show-stopper from the architect who brought us Christchurch’s exquisite cardboard cathedral.

Shigeru Ban is the subject of a fine Phaidon monograph detailing 32 of his green architecture projects (15 from this century). Meanwhile, for more on contemporary building, please take a look at The Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century Architecture and the Phaidon Architecture Travel Guide App. Finally, you can find out more about our exciting new Online Atlas website here.


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