architect Sou Fujimoto
project Musashino Art University Museum & Library, Tokio, Japan
written by Alan Kostrenčić


On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realised that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph’s diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished.[1]

J. L. Borges, The Aleph


The library of 200,000 books at the Musashino Art University in Tokyo, designed by the Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, is a giant spiral bookshelf enclosing 6,500 square metres of the ultimate library that would be the envy of Borges himself. The masterful realization of this simple and crystal clear concept is literally breathtaking. An almost ten-metre-high bookshelf spanning two levels defines not only the internal organization of the building and its spaces, but also its outer perimeter and its appearance within the campus, indicating in an unmistakable way what goes on inside the building.

[1]              Translation by Norman Thomas Di Giovanni.