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Miho Museum and Bridge     

An inspired blending of modern geometric forms and traditional Japanese motifs, I.M. Pei’s ingenious design is an architectural triumph. The building, 80 percent of which is underground, is nestled within a 247-acre mountainous nature preserve.

Shinji Shumeikai, the spiritual organization that commissioned the building, and local governing authorities were deeply concerned about preserving the natural splendor of the site. In response to their concerns, I.M. Pei conceived of a tunnel through the mountain and a bridge across the valley to reach the museum. The Miho Museum Bridge was ecologically designed by LERA to span the deep valley without the intervention of piers rising up from the ground.


The 400-ft long bridge combines key elements of three different structural systems to produce an elegant and highly efficient design. The bridge consists of a combination of cantilevered, cable-stayed and post-tensioned design that produced a shallow bridge 6.5 ft deep, where the biggest structural member is just 10.5-inches in diameter.



Kyoto, Japan



I.M. Pei, Architect



I.M. Pei, Architect



Outstanding Structure Award, 2002

International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE)


Most Innovative Structure Award, 1999

Structural Engineers Association of Illinois (SEAOIL)


Diamond Award for Excellence in Bridge Engineering, 1999

New York Association of Consulting Engineers, Inc. (NYACE)


Engineering Excellence Honor Award, 1999

American Consulting Engineers Council (ACEC)


HIROBA Architectural Award, 1998

Kinki Federation of Architect & Building Engineers


Award of Excellence, 1998

15th International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) Design Competition



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