The following day we woke up again at Oda House to beautiful sunshine and decided to take the train a little further south to another small town Masuda to visit the Shimane Arts Centre. The museum is designed by Hiroshi Naito and is known as Grand Toit (from the French for Large Roof), as soon as you see the building it is obvious why. The cermaic tiles that clad the building and cover the roof are local Sekishu tiles that are used throughout the Iwami part of Shimane. Wherever you move around the building the same ceramic is used but the changing light causes the tiles to alter colour and texture, from orange to green and even to gold at times.
Inside, around courtyard with a square of shallow water, there was a library and art galleries and on one side of the building, housed inside a facetted concrete boulder was a beautiful concert hall. The building looked really well used by the local community, there was a dance event in the afternoon and by the numerous posters and information flyers we saw, there seems to be a massive amount of things going on here throughout the year.
I loved this building, the simple combination of wood and concrete almost hid the fact that this building was actually quite complex in its form, especially the concert hall. Approachable is what you might call it, and I love architecture that sits alongside local houses with minimal impact. A building people can relate to, in this case, isn’t that exactly what it should be…?