MAD Architects Create Otherworldly Installations Inside Historic Japanese Tunnel

Drawing inspiration from natural elements.

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Design
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Every three years, the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale is held in the rural Echigo-Tsumari region in Japan’s Niigata Prefecture. The momentous event features approximately 100 to 200 new artworks alongside permanent installations. One of the participants of this year’s installment is multinational MAD Architects that worked to complete the restoration of the historic Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel in the area.

Entitled the Tunnel of Light, the studio drew inspiration from the five elements of nature (wood, earth, metal, fire, water) to create architectural interventions inside the 750-meter passageway. “The designs rethink the relationship between humans and nature, and seek to re-connect locals and visitors alike with the majestic beauty of the land,” said the company in a statement.

The Periscope (wood) area feature a small wooden hut that serves as a coffee and souvenir shop. A spa is located on the top level boasting a round-shaped aperture in the ceiling that allows for natural light to flow inside alongside mirrored lenses encircling the space to reflect the natural surroundings. Another highlight is the Expression of Color (earth) that was built in the entrance to the tunnel. A series of vibrant colored lights are placed at various points coupled with ambient music that “sparks a certain curiosity of the unknown for those who are wandering through,” the company added.

Head over to MAD Architects’ official website to learn more about the project. In other design stories, take a look at CÉLINE’s new flagship store in the Miami Design District.

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