Architect Hiroshi Hara (Kyoto Station, Sapporo Dome) decided on pure geometric shapes, exposed concrete, and lavish use of glass to give the museum a quiet appearance. “Rooms are boxed inside each other, a traditional form in Japanese architecture found in sacred places such as temples and shrines,” explains Hara. “In summer, cultivate the fields – in winter, cultivate the mind” is an old Japanese saying and the leading theme for the museum. It organizes festivals and outdoor shows in summer, and enriches the exhibition programs inside with lectures during cold seasons. This ranges from the famous summertime Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, one of the largest art festivals in the world, to the wintertime SNOWART festival. 200 permanent art works are scattered outdoors in the region over six main areas that are full of both ancient Japanese historical sites and modern art, design, and architectural masterpieces.