The Subterranean Structure: an integration of man-made form and nature
Far from the crowded cities, the Miho Museum is nestled among the verdant Shigaraki Mountains. The path to the museum angles toward its entrance through a tunnel and over a bridge that spans two mountain ridges. When approaching, you can see tantalizing glimpses of the glass roofs above the pine-filled mountain slope. As with the earthly paradise in the classical Chinese poem, "Peach Blossom Valley", most of the museum building is hidden.
The Interior: an experience of luminous, open space
Once inside, one perceives a dramatic change from that of the museum's exterior. Sunlight softly pours through the louvered glass roofs into a spacious reception area and illuminates the honey-colored limestone walls, giving them a warm glow. The sense of breadth and distance is further extended by panoramic views of the distant mountains that surround the building. "I think you can see a very conscious attempt on my part to make the silhouette of the building comfortable in the natural landscape." As this remark by Dr. Pei suggests, the museum is a magnificent embodiment of two aspects of architecture: a structure standing in nature and at the same time being a part of nature.