Challenge Programs: Challenge Grants

Period of Performance

12/1/2013 - 7/31/2019

Funding Totals (matching)

$500,000.00 (approved)
$500,000.00 (offered)
$500,000.00 (awarded)

Cultural Crossing at the Portland Japanese Garden: Enlarging Americans' understanding of Japanese perspectives and worldview

FAIN: CH-51264-15

Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, Inc. (Portland, OR 97205-5886)
Diane Durston (Project Director: May 2014 to April 2021)

Construction of a new educational facility to expand the Garden’s humanities offerings.

This project will create new educational facilities for humanities programs providing formal and informal learning opportunities for varied audiences to acquire new knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture through gardens, architecture, visual and performing arts, literature, philosophy, religion, language and history. The facilities will combine classroom-style learning with hands-on workshops. Purpose-built for the specific requirements of Japanese arts and cultural practices, these facilities will provide American audiences with a variety of ways to learn from informally observing demonstrations to attending lectures by visiting scholars or intensive multi-week seminars. The new facilities will be adjacent to the five gardens which are beautiful physical artifacts illustrating the history of Japanese culture over 1,000 years. Together the facilities, programs, and gardens will provide a unique immersive experience of bridging cultures.

Media Coverage

Kengo Kuma Tells AD About His Latest Project (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Brian Libby
Publication: Architectural Digest
Date: 6/9/2017

Kengo Kuma's major expansion of Portland Japanese Garden opens (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Jenna McKnight
Publication: Dezeen
Date: 4/4/2017

Architect Kengo Kuma's Authentic Village Beautifies Portland Japanese Gardens (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Keith Flamer
Publication: Forbes
Date: 1/28/2017

It Takes One: Kristin Faurest and Sadafumi Uchiyama (Media Coverage)
Publication: The Cultural Landscapes Foundation
Date: 6/21/2019

Portland Japanese Garden Opens New Cultural Village (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Emily Fuller
Publication: Oregon Public Broadcasting
Date: 3/31/2017

$33.5 million Portland Japanese Garden expansion completed on time, despite daunting challenges (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Janet Eastman
Publication: Oregonian
Date: 3/28/2017

Associated Products

Miller Living Room (Building)
Name: Miller Living Room
Abstract: Miller Living Room: 1,500 sq. ft. multi-use performance/demonstration venue with built-in stadium seating and movable seating accommodating up to 150 people. Each day, demonstrations and performances of varied Japanese cultural practices and performing and visual arts attract audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Year: 2017
Address: 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Primary URL:

Tateuchi Courtyard (Building)
Name: Tateuchi Courtyard
Abstract: Tateuchi Courtyard: 3,000 sq. ft. central courtyard is pedestrian-only and fully ADA accessible. Surrounded by the other humanities program venues, this space is used for outdoor performances, lectures and demonstrations for audiences up to 800 people.
Year: 2017
Address: 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Primary URL:

Yanai Classroom (Building)
Name: Yanai Classroom
Abstract: Yanai Classroom: 1,300 sq. ft. classroom with attached kitchen and kimono robing room (required for tea ceremony) and modern AV equipment serves as the primary space for classes, “dry” workshops, and lectures. This space accommodates classes up to 45 students and lectures up to 80 people.
Year: 2017
Address: 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Primary URL:

Lemelson Garden Studio (Building)
Name: Lemelson Garden Studio
Abstract: Lemelson Garden Studio: 700 sq. ft. classroom appropriate for wet or dry activities accommodates up to 20 students is used for hands-on workshops in Japanese crafts and garden practices such as book-binding, indigo dying, bonsai, maple and pine pruning, bamboo fence-building, and nobedan stonepaving.
Year: 2017
Address: 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Kengo Kuma: Portland Japanese Garden (Book)
Title: Kengo Kuma: Portland Japanese Garden
Author: Balazs Bognar
Author: Botond Bognar
Abstract: Kengo Kuma: Portland Japanese Garden introduces star Japanese architect Kengo Kuma's first public project in the United States. The complex, dubbed the Cultural Village, has been designed for the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon which is widely considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan. The popularity of the garden with the increasing number of visitors necessitated the construction of new public facilities. Kuma won the international competition by proposing a design that, while executed with contemporary materials and the latest construction technology, also builds upon the principles of traditional architecture and craftsmanship.
Year: 2019
Publisher: Rizzoli
Type: Multi-author monograph
ISBN: 9780847864669
Copy sent to NEH?: No