Ryuo Station

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Ryuo Station juxtaposes contemporary architecture by the celebrated Tadao Ando (b. 1941) against a backdrop of mountain ranges. Completed in 2008, the construction draws upon local inspiration while simultaneously being an emblematic Ando work that blends into the surrounding nature.

The station’s shape, viewed from above, suggests a clamp linking together the three municipalities merged to form the city of Kai in 2004. More apparent at ground level is that the construction makes extensive use of triangular forms, symbolizing the crystals abundant in Yamanashi Prefecture.

Like a traditional Japanese garden, Ryuo Station uses the “borrowed scenery” technique: the awning-style roof over its south entrance square—composed of dozens of interlocking triangles and mirrored by another roof over the north entrance—incorporates an expansive cutaway circle through which to view Mount Fuji. A small Zen-style garden sits under the roof, a triangular cutaway bathing it in light at certain hours.

This multitude of triangular forms previews the stark angularity found within the main building, which also serves as a pedestrian bridge. Steel, glass, and concrete elements combine to create one of Ando’s hallmarks: a dramatic interplay of light and shadow, forever changing with the sun’s position. Full-height glass windows frame views out to the north, south, east, and west, providing views of several mountains.

Such outstanding architecture, found midway along a train line cutting through the countryside, serves to remind us that in life too, the journey can be as rewarding as the destination.



Venue Address

400-0111 Ryuo Shinmachi, Kai-shi

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