Art Tower Mito (ATM) was planned, in part, to spur the well-rounded, lateral growth of the city of Mito, which had so far been developing in a linear or "strip" fashion along National Highway #50.
The museum complex is situated to the west of Mito Station, a little more than a kilometer down Highway 50 and one block north.
For a site so close to downtown, ATM's spacious plaza -- characterized by a grassy lawn, three keyaki (zelkova) trees, and an artificial waterfall and fountain named "Cascade", and surrounded by the cloisters lining the buildings -- offers Mito's citizens a welcome place of rest.
Dominating the eastern side of the plaza is the tower after which Art Tower Mito is named. It was intentionally built exactly 100 meters tall in commemoration of Mito's 100th anniversary in 1989 as an official city. On the opposite side of the plaza is the entrance hall leading to the ACM Theatre and Concert Hall ATM. Along the third enclosed side of the plaza -- to the north -- lies the Contemporary Art Gallery.
The facilities were designed and constructed to serve as the base for artistic activities in Mito, and as the "transmission point" letting the outside world find out about what is being carried out here. Each section of the complex carries out its individual activities -- music, drama and art -- and also interact or "cross over."