Architecture has always depended on the assistance of artists such as painters and sculptors to create beautiful and magnificent spaces, but in the modern era, they have tended to work independently. However, in recent years, exploring human spaces through collaboration between art and architecture has again begun to be a topic of passionate pursuit.
About 40 years ago, the first nationally-built international conference center in Japan had a defined requirement to use approximately 1% of the total building costs for collaboration with artists, in an effort by Japan to global intellectual trends. The construction of ICC Kyoto was strongly expected to contribute to the merging of architecture and modern art.
The architect, Mr. Sachio Otani, consulted with his younger brother, the sculptor Fumio Otani, and created a group of young artists known as the A•A•A (Association des Artistes pour l’Architecture). Sachio Otani emphasized discussion within the group, but that was because he hoped that “experiences with limited opportunities be shared between as many artists as possible”. He also reflects that “interaction with the artists under a tight construction schedule, while always including a sense of unease and ideas that were difficult to grasp, was a very valuable, enjoyable, and freeing time for me.” He also states that “this was because I caught a glimpse of what art means to humanity with them”.
If visitors to ICC Kyoto enjoy relaxation and pleasant surprise from the reliefs, objects, lighting, or the space of the lounge and Japanese garden itself between their meetings, this will mean that the collaboration between art and architecture has been a fruitful one.