小樽芸術村 OTARU ART BASE

About Otaru Art Base

Nitori company was founded and developed here in Hokkaido.
The Otaru Art Base was created as a means to repay our customers and community
for their continuous support throughout the years.

Ever since the stone wharf was built here in Ironai,
Otaru flourished as the gateway to Hokkaido and its economy,
where many banks, shipping companies, and merchants set up business around the early Showa period,
creating the foundation for development in Hokkaido.

Four buildings: former Arata Trading Co., former Takahashi Warehouses,
former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch, and former Hokkaido Takushoku Bank Otaru Branch,
built during the early 20th Century, when Otaru prospered greatly,
form the stage on which excellent artwork and crafts from Japan and around the world
are exhibited in atmospheres unique to each building and time period.
It is our wish that by displaying these works of art and crafts in this manner,
they will be more accessible to viewers,
cultivating within each a sense of awe and sensitivity toward the wonderful world of arts and culture.
We aspire to become a location that proclaims the greatness of art and culture to the world.

Nitori Holdings Co., Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Akio Nitori

Awarded the 22nd Otaru City Urban Landscape Award

Stained Glass Museum (Former Takahashi Warehouse)

Former Takahashi Warehouse (Stained Glass Museum)
Former Takahashi Warehouses were built in 1923(Taisho 12)by Naoharu Takahashi, who was at the time a prominent merchant and government official, for the purpose of storing adzuki beans. The interior was crafted of timber, and the exterior was built with stones; this was called "timber framed stone construction," and was a common method of construction, especially in Otaru where there were frequent fires, as the structure was considered highly fireproof. The stones used to on the exterior were made of "soft stone," found in the hills on the outskirts of Otaru.
Year of Construction
1923 (Taisho 12)
Structure
Two-story timber-framed stone structure
Use When It Was Built
Warehouse
Historical Landmark
Designated by Otaru City
Designated on May 12, 1994 (Heisei 6)

Otaru Art Base Museum Cafe (Former Arata Trading Co.)

Former Arata Trading Company (Art Nouveau Glass Museum)
Former Arata Trade Company next to the former Takahashi Warehouses, was built in 1935(Showa 10) as the main office for Takichi Arata Trade, who was ran a shipping industry company. It is a timber-framed symmetric building, and though it was renovated in its later years, it still showcases some of the original features, such as the window frames and some other areas.
Year of Construction
1935 (Showa 10)
Structure
Two-story timber frame
Use When It Was Built
Office
Historical Landmark
Designated by Otaru City
Designated on May 12, 1994 (Heisei 6)

Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch

Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch (Museum of Japanese Modern Art)
The Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch, was designed and constructed by the Sone-Nakajo Architecture Company, a leading architecture company in Japan at that time. The building was erected in 1927(Showa 2), and was in business as the last metropolitan bank in Otaru, until 2002(Heisei 14). Hanaoka stones from Kitagi Island, Okayama, were used for the exterior, with plant-like motifs adorned the eaves. It is a reinforced concrete building, which was incorporated after the Kanto Earthquake in southern Japan, and was at the time, considered a cutting-edge aseizmetic structure.
Year of Construction
1927 (Showa 2)
Structure
Three-stories above ground and one below steel framed reinforced concrete structure
Use When It Was Built
Bank
Tangible Cultural Property
Designated by Otaru City
Designated on February 16, 2017 (Heisei 29)

Nitori Art Museum (Former Hokkaido Takushoku Bank Otaru Branch)

Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch (Museum of Japanese Modern Art)
The Former Hokkaido Takushoku Bank Otaru Branch, was built by the Architecture Department of the Ministry of Finances, lead by Kenichi Yahashi, who was at the time a prominent architect, worked for the building and repairs department of the government, and was involved with the construction of the House of Parliament. The building, reinforced concrete structure, was completed in 1923(Showa 12), and showcases impressive cylindrical pillars at the entrance, and a colonnade inside the sales department. It is a known fact, that in the year following completion of the building, the famous writer of proletarian literature Takizo Kobayashi, worked as a banker at the Takushoku Bank. The many other bank buildings nearby, which were built around the same time as this, give indication of just how dynamic the economy in Otaru was at that time.
Built in
1923 (Taisho 12)
Structure
4-story reinforced concrete building
Use When It Was Built
Bank
Historical Landmark
Designated by Otaru City
Designated on October 4, 1991 (Heisei 3)

Facility Overview

Name
Otaru Art Base
Date of Establishment
July 23, 2016
Location
Ironai 1-chome 3-1, Otaru, Hokkaido, Zip 047-0031
Telephone/FAX
TEL:0134-31-1033 / FAX:0134-31-1035
Consultant
Ken Tanaka, Masato Shida, Junzo Munemoto, Yoko Watanabe, Naoaki Ishikawa, Ishida Junichiro
Management
Nitori Co., Ltd.
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