It’s Ando’s ninth design for Naoshima, which is located in the Seto Inland Sea and home to museums housing artworks by the likes of land artist James Turrell and Yayoi Kusama, whose giant metal spheres tumble down the concrete steps of the museum’s gallery. The architect completed his first building on the island, the Benesse House Museum, 30 years ago.
Valley Gallery sits (as the name suggests) in a valley, with the form of the surrounding land guiding its distinctive shape. The space itself measures just 96 sm, located beneath a steel roof resembling a pair of folded wings or the shell of a crashed starship.
Ando has left the gallery open to the elements, with triangular apertures bringing natural light. Visitors walk a long path up to the gallery, passing by artworks by Kusama and Tsuyoshi Ozawa, as well as azaleas and cherry trees.