A new perspective on antiques for a new generation
The cultural relationship between Japan and the UK runs deep. Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, among many others, found inspiration in minimalist Japanese design and later built his famous Ingram Street Tearooms.
These have now been fully restored as the Oak Room inside the V&A Dundee Museum, where I led the architect project in 2018. You can spot Mackintosh’s Japanese influences in this room.
From antique designs to modern electric vehicles, V&A Dundee harmonises old and new aesthetics, which creates a timeless experience.
My latest project, the British Antique Museum (BAM), is situated by the historic Dankazura shrine approach in Kamakura. The museum is filled with Director Dobashi’s exquisite antique collection, objects of beauty which have absorbed time, so to speak. To house these collections, I felt that the building should have the same qualities.
With this in mind, we eliminated the windows for a minimalistic effect and adopted a façade inspired by Kamakura-bori wood carvings, which symbolise the historic culture of Kamakura.
The BAM is situated close to ancient Oyatsu forest, which lies behind Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. The forest was saved by local conservation efforts inspired by the British National Trust back in the1960s.
We hope the museum will become a cultural hub, to be loved and passed on through the generations.