While architecture is best enjoyed when it is in the form of a full-scale building or structure standing in front of you, the architectural models created to help guide the vision of the full-scale projects can provide a certain beauty, as well. And a new museum in Tokyo plans on showcasing the artistic merit found in these small-scale models while also providing a practical benefit to architects working in the spatially challenged city.
Archi-Depot, which claims to be Japan’s only architectural model museum, allows architects to display study maquettes and final design models to the public, Dezeen reports. The studios pay to rent any of the 116 display shelves to place their models, at once displaying their work to the public while also opening up precious space in what are often very cramped offices.
In order to keep the models in pristine condition, the gallery features carefully maintained temperature and humidity conditions and LED lighting to prevent the models from fading or disfiguring.
QR codes next to each model allow visitors to learn more about each project and Archi-Depot encourages the firms to rotate their models every few months to keep the display from growing stale.
Large scale models of Kengo Kuma’s Aix en Provence Conservatory of Music, a university campus by Riken Yamamoto, and a tree-surrounded school by Kazuhiro Kojima and Kazuko Akamatsu are all on display in the museum. Torafu Architects, Klein Dytham Architecture, Nikken Sekkei, and Sandwich also have work on display.
The gallery, which was launched by Warehouse Terrada, opened in June 2016.