Ever since 1992, Kyoto, Japan has been home to a French cultural institute that hosts 23 artists-in-residence each year. Called Villa Kujoyama, the angular cream-colored building was designed in the 1980s by Japanese architect Kunio Kato in a concrete geometric style inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Courbusier. Considered one of the Institut Français's grandest foreign institutions, Villa Kujoyama was shuttered in 2012, "not so much due to structural worries," the Guardian writes, but "more out of existential fatigue." Presumably the last two years have been an ample sabbatical for the 22-year-old Franco-Japanese villa, as it just reopened to the public.
At the time of the closure, the concrete building was beginning to be affected by the damp of the hillside it sat on. The restoration work was funded by Pierre Bergé, the former companion of Yves Saint-Laurent, and was comprised of "the usual clean-up that aging concrete structures require," the Guardian writes, vaguely. The building reopened with a scented contemporary art installation about perfume by Jose Levy, one of the artists-in-residence. More photos, below.
· Villa Kujoyama [Official site]
· Villa Kujoyama reopening cements France-Japan cultural collaboration [Guardian]
· All Grand Reopenings posts [Curbed National]