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Tomihiro Musuem; Tomihiro Musuem;

Tomihiro Museum, Gunma

Square museum filled with cylindrical rooms.

Located in Japan’s Gumma Prefecture, this square museum is dedicated to the native poet and illustrator Tomihiro Hoshino.

Arup provided structural engineering and electrical engineering on this award-winning design by architect Makoto Yokomizo.

The building is composed of a collection of cylinders within a 52m square. Since the museum is made up of a group of tightly packed circular rooms, like a cluster of soap bubbles, it was necessary to make the walls as light as possible. A lightweight steel framework was used for the structure of the walls and roof.

Three of the 33 cylindrical rooms have a reinforced concrete structure and the rest are of 9mm-thick steel plate. The roof is composed of assemblies of steel fan-shaped pieces.

The cylinders make up a highly efficient structural system, supporting each other and distributing forces around the building.