Monday, April 24th, 2023

Brutalism in Nagisa, Kobe

Photograph of the promenade at Nagisa in Kobe, showing a series of concrete columns rising from steps used as seats by famililes

The catchily titled "Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art" is a monument to Brutalism. Designed by renown architect Tadao Ando, it rises from reclaimed land in Nagisa and rightly draws crowds fascinated by its displays of contemporary art.

While the museum takes the attention, the park next door is also worthy of mention. It continues the brutalist theme with rising columns of concrete, an arena that's perfect for outdoor performances and promenades along the sheltered marina. Even the toilet block joins in, sporting a plinth like roof of poured concrete.

The area was devastated by the Great Hanshin Earthquake, with the museum and park completed in 2002. I think it speaks to Kobe's confidence about its future that not only would it commission such a spectacular museum building, but also give space to a powerful homage to brutalism beyond functional architecture.

My name is Ross Hori

I'm a freelance writer, designer and photographer. By day I create articles, features and reports. At night I take photos and write fiction. Find out more.