Tonami Public Library

Tonami Public Library

MIKAMI Architects
4-1 Saiwaicho, Tonami, Toyama, Japan
Project Year

Open-Plan Library under a Big Roof

MIKAMI Architects as Architects

It is a public library located in Tonami City, Toyama Prefecture.


The spectacular scenery of the quiet Tonami Plain is unparalleled. The panorama of the scattered villages, which was once the food basket of the Kaga domain, has been passed down from ancient times as a beautiful idyllic landscape. The reason is the dignity of the locals, who have both rationality and a rich spirit, and have evolved into a traditional wooden farmhouse called Azumachi. With that image in mind, I came up with the concept of an "open plan library under a big roof" facing the main street that runs through the city.


We wanted the roof with scale and gentle rolls to be a new landmark in Tonami. It is a modern interpretation of Azumadachi and is also a symbol of public culture, as the wings of Pegasus appear to soar into the future. We also designed a building facing the street on the west side so that the interior can be seen from under the eaves, which is low and parallel to the street.


The interior is a continuous space that rises from the inverting roll of the big roof. The pitch of the ceiling is steep on the north side, where people come over to interact with each other, and that stimulates vitality. The pitch becomes more gradual toward the end so that visitors may feel a sense of relief amid the calm of a forest of books, in silent awe of the intellectual world. From children to the elderly, every visitor to the library will be enveloped in the warmth of wood and the soft natural light that streams in through the high windows. 

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