Designs include three pitched-roof buildings with wooden facades, sited around a central courtyard that will host public events and outdoor learning. The library will be dedicated to Japanese gardening and art.
‘The Portland Japanese Garden’s careful growth is a very important cultural effort, not only for Portland but also for the US and Japan,’ said Kuma. The 5.5 acre gardens are among the city’s most popular attractions – since opening in 1963, numbers have spiked from 30,000 to 300,000 visitors per year.
Inspired by the Japanese tradition of monzenmachi – where villages sprang up outside the entrances of religious and cultural sites – Kuma’s new complex will sit outside the gates of the five existing gardens, which will remain untouched.
‘To continue being a haven of serenity, this project is designed to take the liveliness of social experiences out of the Garden, freeing it up to be a quiet, reverent space,’ said the garden’s deputy director Cynthia Haruyama.
The project is expected to cost $35m, and will mostly be funded via donations. They’re not hanging around either, with work set to commence this 31 August for completion in early 2017 – the same year Kuma’s V&A Dundee is expected to be finished.
More than 200 new trees and shrubs will be planted as part of the landscaping, designed by the garden’s curator Sadafumi Uchiy.