Musée National des Beaux-Arts de l'Occident, Taito-Ku, Tokyo, Japan, 1955

Prototype of the Unlimited development Museum, a demonstration of the early reception of LC's work in Japan and of the universality of the Modern Movement.

Component of the serial property inscribed on the world heritage list, 2016


A wealthy Japanese resident in Paris, M. Matsukata, had amassed an imposing collection of Impressionist art, both painting and sculpture. During the war of '39 this collection was considered as a war prize by the French government. After successful negotiations, the collection was restored to the Japanese government on the condition that it be housed in a new building in Tokyo which shall be called "The National Museum of Fine Arts of the West", with the intention of acquainting the Japanese public, in a scientific manner, with the past, present and future evolution of western art, starting with Impressionism.

The Japanese government called upon Le Corbusier to construct this museum. They provided a site in a park already occupied by the Museums of Natural History, of Fine Arts, of Science, etc... This site is covered with beautiful trees; it is located on the edge of a plateau dominating Tokyo and profiting by an unlimited panorama of the City.

Le Corbusier, pursuing studies dating back more than 25 years, has installed on this site a version of the "square spiral museum". But he is accompanying it with a Pavilion for Temporary Exhibitions and a building dedicated to the theatre and to theatrical experiments which he long ago christened: "Box of Miracles". This ensemble constitutes, according to the desire of the Japanese government, a cultural center. It follows directly from studies made in 1950 for the site of the Porte Maillot in Paris, an attempt which came to grief through certain impatiences and voracities ...

Here in Tokyo, the Museum itself was executed by two Japa­nese architects, who, in 1928, in 1931 and finally after the war had worked for a long time at 35 Rue de Sèvres: Maekawa and Sakakura.

The composition, although well unified, allows to each of the buildings, which are so fundamentally different, the integrity of its own character.

Extract from Le Corbusier, Oeuvre complète, volume 7, 1957-1965
fleche_left
fleche_right
Musée National des Beaux-Arts de l'Occident, Taito-Ku, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
1/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
2/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
3/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
4/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
5/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
6/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
7/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
8/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
9/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
10/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
11/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
12/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
13/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
14/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGAP
15/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
16/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
17/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
18/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
19/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
20/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
21/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
22/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
23/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
24/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
25/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
26/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
27/28
Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo
Photo : Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
© FLC/ADAGP
28/28