Kiro-san Observatory


Kiro-san Observatory  ©Mitsumasa Fujitsuka
Kiro-san Observatory  ©Mitsumasa Fujitsuka
Kiro-san Observatory  ©Mitsumasa Fujitsuka
Kiro-san Observatory  ©Mitsumasa Fujitsuka
kirosan observatory plan
kirosan observatory section
kirosan observatory site

Kiro-san Observatory

Kiro-san, Yoshiumi-cho, Imabari-shi, Ehime, Japan

This project focused on anti-disposition of objects in the nature. Kiro-san Observatory appears as a single narrow slit inside the hillside. This has reversed the concept that is imbedded to our daily life that any observation platforms typically expose their presence by simply standing amidst the natural environment.

The hilltop that was previously sliced horizontally for a function of observatory – park is restored to its original form by re-filling. Then, the narrow slit is recreated, this time buried into the ground. The slit is thus all that is visible from the outside, and visitors begin and end their journey from this slit. The visitors broaden their view of the environment through the slit which also frames the view. The aim here is to transfer the fundamental concept of an extruded object into an intruded slit: What was previously seen is now reversed to act of seeing.

Inside the observatory, a few video monitors are installed. As one looks into the monitor, he/she finds the self inside the screen monitored by a camera of unknown location. This device forces one to recognize the fact that to see is to be seen, and vice versa. An observatory was first invented to actualize the privilege of viewing the world through specified objects, lenses. However, to see is to be seen; to view is to be viewed. As an experiment of reversing what an object does and has done to the space and environment, the project continuously challenges the concept already imbedded to our daily life.

Grand Prize for JCD Design Award Cultural/Public Institutions for “Kiro-san Observatory” (1995)
GA Japan 01, 05, 11
Shinkenchiku 1994.03,07
JA 38
SD 1992,’94 10, ’99 08
Nikkei Architecture 1996.02
Casa di vacanza 2003.06
Casamica 2005.02