Teshima, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan

Located on a remote island amid Japan’s Seto Inland Sea, the Teshima Art Museum is a one-room gallery that behaves like a work of art. A collaboration between Pritzker Prize–winning architect Ryue Nishizawa and avant-garde sculptor Rei Naito, the project is the latest from the Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum Foundation, which is famous for developing art venues on the neighboring Naoshima and Inujima islands. A narrow path winding its way through the landscape leads from a separate building that holds the museum’s shop and café to the gallery embedded in the hilly terrain. Shaped like a drop of water, the new museum is a low-lying, column-free, reinforced concrete shell. Though devoid of conventional doors and windows, the cavernous space has two oculi that enable daylight, wind, and rain — as well as people — to move freely in and out of the building. While 182 floor ducts animate the floor plane with tiny puddles, the oculi focus attention on the beauty of the ocean, forest, and terraced rice paddies surrounding the site.