Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum

With the rest of our office off on their Obon summer holidays, we decided to dig into our video archive. In 2010, our team visited Kengo Kuma’s Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum in Kochi Prefecture. The 446 m2 (4,800 ft2) gallery and bridge connect the Kumo No Ue (Above the Clouds) Hotel – a former visitor’s center, also designed by Kuma – and the resort’s hot spring baths. Bathers travel across the bridge, supported by a structural system inspired by hanebashi bridges from the Edo period. Instead of using nails and bolts, this ancient system uses a proliferation of square interlocking timber beams that gradually decrease in length as they transfer load downward into the supports.