Museum Of Architectural Models

Architects have been creating models for years as an instrument to visualise and experiment with form. Models are a design development tool and crucial lessons can be learnt through the testing of ideas in a miniature format. But most of these models are only occasionally exhibited to the public. That is until Archi Depot opened in Toyko’s Shinagawa district.

Archi Depot is a new museum which puts models in the limelight, showcasing them as works of art in themselves. Inside the 450sqm cavernous space are rows and rows of dramatically lit miniature designs, many of which serve as the tiny precursors to some of the city’s top attractions such as the Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo International Airport. 

Models designed by influential Japanese architects including Kengo Kuma, Riken Yamamoto and Shigeru Ban can all be discovered and admired here. And some of these models are created with such immense detail that you feel like a giant looking down on a miniature world.

Each model sits next to a QR code that provides quick access to more information about the project. Supporting digital details including blueprints, photographs of the completed structure and examples of other projects by the architect.

Archi Depot’s aim is to not only display the models, but to safeguard and conserve them –  valuing them as significant archives that pass Japanese architectural culture onto the next generation. In addition to this growing permanent display, the Depot also hosts rotating exhibitions of conceptual pieces and work-in-progress models.

Next time the Modscape team finds itself in Japan, this museum is definitely on our ‘must-see’ list.