Japanese Garden reopens but still has year of construction ahead - KPTV - FOX 12

Japanese Garden reopens but still has year of construction ahead

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Visitors are now able to return to Portland’s Japanese Gardens after a six month closure for construction, which will continue into next year. (KPTV) Visitors are now able to return to Portland’s Japanese Gardens after a six month closure for construction, which will continue into next year. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Japanese Garden, one of Portland’s most popular spots, is back open after six months of construction, though more changes are coming.

The construction won't be finished until next year, so while the Japanese Garden will look the same for now, some big changes are on the way.

Crews are working on a big expansion project outside the Japanese Garden's gates, and had to close the whole area for six months in order to get the project started.

Workers said the original landscapes have been untouched by this project.

The big expansion project is going to add more than three acres to the nine acre property, adding new garden spaces including a moss garden, classrooms, and a larger gift shop. The project will also move the entry gate.

The efforts are being headed up by Kengo Kuma, a famous Japanese architect who is also designing the 2020 Olympic main stage in Tokyo. The design director at Kengo Kuma & Associates, Balazs Bognar, spoke on the importance of the project for his company last month.

"It’s a giant honor for me, and on behalf of my boss, to be here and to have Portland have the first chance to have his first project here in the U.S., so it's a very big deal," he said.

There was an exhibit in downtown Portland giving people a sneak peek of what to expect with the "Cultural Crossing" expansion that closed Monday ahead of the Japanese Garden reopening.

The full project at the Japanese Gardens is scheduled to be finished next spring, and there is already a big grand opening planned for April of 2016.

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