Designed by famed Japanese architect Toyo Ito and built in 2001, Sendai Mediatheque is multi-purpose building considered by many to be Ito’s finest work.

Photo by Gregory Lane

The building does not have a conventional column and beam construction. Instead, it has hollow, twisting steel structures like giant bean stalks from top to bottom on to which relatively light floors are attached. As a result, the floors of the building appear to float.

Photo by Gregory Lane

The seven floors of Sendai Mediatheque serve various purposes. The top floor contains a free study space as well as an AV theater. The 5th and 6th floors are given over to gallery space. The exhibitions on the 5th floor are free while to see the exhibits on the 6th floor, there is a charge of ¥500 for entry.

The 4th floor houses a library, which seems to be a favorite snoozing spot in the evening.

Photo by Gregory Lane

Entry to Sendai Mediatheque is free—except for the gallery on the 6th floor.

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