Remodeling Work Underway for Miraikan's New-Concept Ceiling

A collapsed section of the vaulted ceiling

The remainder of the ceiling will be removed and reconstructed

In the wake of the catastrophic earthquake that occurred on March 11 and the subsequent aftershocks, a section of the ceiling above the atrium of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) collapsed. Fortunately, no one was hurt. While Miraikan's ceiling was built according to national construction standards for public facilities, the reality of the matter is that it collapsed.

As we began our reconstruction efforts, it was initially suggested that the collapsed portion of the ceiling be replaced and reinforced. Inspired, however, by the proposal advanced by Professor Kawaguchi Ken'ichi of the Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, we have decided instead to go beyond that and come up with a ceiling based on a new concept.

We have the ability to create a sturdy ceiling unlikely to collapse; what we have learned from this recent catastrophe, however, is that we must "expect the unexpected." We must ask ourselves, "What if an earthquake exceeding expectations were to hit Tokyo?" "What if a more solidly made ceiling were to collapse?" "What if a visitor happened to be under that falling ceiling?"

We therefore arrived at the following conclusion: To construct a ceiling that would not cause a disaster even if it were to collapse. We are thus aiming to transform the high ceiling above the atrium into an even safer and attractive ceiling based on our new perspective.

The ceiling above the atrium is currently being reconstructed in order to transform it into a new-concept ceiling. We thank you for your patience until we reopen Miraikan.

As we progress, we will be posting reports on the Miraikan website by our science communicators concerning the cause of the ceiling's collapse and the concept for the new ceiling. We look forward to your continued support.