Architecture + Film

Architecture + Film



The request sounds simple: A client asks a world-renowned architect to design a museum to house an extensive art collection. The hitch? The location is atop a mountain.

The 1998 documentary, The Museum on the Mountain (running time 60 minutes), follows famed architect I.M. Pei and the challenges he faced while designing the Miho Museum in Shiga, Japan. Filmed over a six-year period (1991 to 1997), director Peter Rosen details Pei’s quest to build the museum for Mihoko Koyama, one of Japan's wealthiest women, and her daughter, Hiroko. It houses antiquities from around the word, including a 2nd-century stone Buddha, the largest of its kind in the world.

The Miho Museum was built in the Shigaraki Mountains. Visitors approach the museum through a tunnel and over a bridge that spans two mountain ridges. The sloped, glass-roofed building is visible from the bridge, but 80 percent of the museum’s structure is underground to preserve the natural environment.

Architect I.M. Pei was born in China in 1917. He holds degrees from MIT and Harvard. His architectural works include the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington. D.C,  the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, the glass-pyramid entrance to the Louvre art museum in Paris and the Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean in Luxembourg.

A presentation by architect Robby Johnston, co-founder of The Raleigh Architecture Company, will precede the screening.


An event reception begins at 6 p.m. in the Bechtler lobby followed by the presentation and film screening at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for non-members and $8 for members. Cash bar and free light bites. Tickets may be purchased online, by phone 704.353.9200 or at the visitor services desk.

The Bechtler’s Architecture + Film series is developed in conjunction with AIA Charlotte.

Image: The Miho Museum in Japan. Photo courtesy of Peter Rosen Productions.

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ex © 2018 Bechtler Museum of Modern Art All images and content copyright. All rights reserved. Credits: Design: MODE. Artwork Photography: JoAnn Sieburg-Baker, David Ramsey General Photography: Eric Bahrs, Mitchell Kearney, Gary O'Brien, Nancy Pierce, Maxim Vakhovskiy Copywriting: Pam Davis Charlotte Skyline Photo: courtesy of Visit Charlotte School of Paris: John Boyer (Copy), MODE (Design)
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