yufuin | kengo kuma’s comico art museum and residential annex

situated in oita, japan, yufuin has traditionally attracted visitors by its location at the foot of yufu dake (mt. yufu or yufu peak) in a landscape wrought by seismic activity, farming and onsen traditional japanese hot spring bathing lodges and hostels. more recently, it has become known as a destination for contemprorary art lovers in large part, due to comico museum, housing a modest but growing collection of largely japanese, works by established contemporary artists. the museum itself was designed by award-winning architect kengo kuma. kuma’s architecture is often characterized as a harmonious integration of nature and and design; a blend of sustainable materials coupled with traditional and contemporary building techniques.
kengo kuma’s architectural approach is notable for its ambition to blend structures harmoniously with their natural surroundings. at the comico museum, kuma’s design philosophy is exemplified by the agreement achieved between the buildingst and the landscapes of yufuin. “blurring the boundaries between art and nature” is a much overused phrase in architectural description, and the comico musem certainly doesn’t seem to attempt that, rather it sits black, broodingly, long and low-roofed next to a children’s playgound. however, this structure owes a great deal to traditional japanese building techniques; the black exterior is achieved through a technique known as yakisugi, the charring of panels of wood, which renders the wood resistant to damage through moisture, warping, and less prone to rot. as well as degree of fire resistance.
the comico museum stands as a testament to kuma’s architectural brilliance. its elegant lines and flowing forms mimic the natural contours of the landscape, allowing the museum to harmoniously blend with its surroundings. through this design, visitors are invited to engage with both the exhibited art and the architectural masterpiece itself.
a significant aspect of the comico museum is its residential annex, which offers guests the unique opportunity to reside within the museum premises. the use of traditional materials and incorporation of natural light create an environment conducive to reflection and contemplation.
staying at the residential annex enables visitors to immerse themselves in yufuin’s artistic ambiance. the thoughtfully designed interiors integrate traditional japanese aesthetics with modern comforts. guests can enjoy the tranquility of japanese-style rooms, unwind in private gardens, and rejuvenate in any fo the many nearby hot springs. the residential annex goes beyond mere accommodation; it provides an experience and opportunity to deepen understanding of kuma’s architectural approach.