Shrouded in verdant vines, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma‘s adventurous design for a cultural museum in Manila takes on the guise of a prehistoric cave. Upon entering, visitors are ushered past a cascading waterfall and tropical garden—the landscape design looks like it’s pulled straight from Jurassic Park— before descending into an underground plaza. At nearly 97,000 square feet, the sprawling Museum of Indigenous Knowledge will house over 4,000 years of history.
In a statement, the firm describes its ambition to build a welcoming environment and a complement to the metropolis:
The theme of this museum is to offer its visitors an experience of the Philippines’ cultural heritage, starting from the Neolithic age. Based on its concept, we aim to build a natural and organic museum by combining water and green in the cave-shaped space, contrary to the image of museums as closed boxes. The organic design continues to the highest floor, with village-like architecture appearing on a water pool. It is also an attempt to revive cohabitation of nature and history in the urban environment.
We’re all for museums that seek to become part of the city. And in a city that isn’t known for its grand outdoor public spaces, the museum adds a new lush oasis into the dense environment.
Spelunking into the exhibitions, anyone?