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Kengo Kuma : Afternoon with an ecologist and poet architect
Kengo Kuma
Afternoon with an ecologist and poet architect
Marco Casamonti, October 8, 2007
Kengo Kuma
Kengo Kuma
 
Kengo Kuma was born in 1954, and set up his own agency in Tokyo in 1990 (Kengo Kuma & Associates). He teaches in several universities, and has won many prizes both in Japan and abroad (Finland, Italy). Today, he has some 50 buildings to his credit in Japan (houses, housing units, museums, shops, etc), putting him among the major architects of his generation. His leitmotiv is “to erase architecture“, and calls for the virtual disappearance of architecture in its environment, natural and urban alike, thanks to buildings coming across like open structures and changing with external variations, as attested to by the Kitakami Canal Museum (Miyagi, 1996-99). For his so-called “weak“ buildings, Kuma uses vernacular materials, earth, wood, bamboo, and stone, but above all conceives of them as innovative constructive assemblies. Whence his use of “washi“, Japanese paper, for the Ando Hiroshige Museum (Bato, 1998-2000), and stone for the Stone Museum (Nasu, 1996-2000), whose façadeturns into an openwork structure through the linear repetition of thin stone blocks. The One Omotesando building (Tokyo, 2001-03) consists of a series of wooden strips, perpendicular to the façade: with its continuous skin, when seen obliquely, the façade, head on, becomes completely transparent, punctuated by voids and solids. For Kengo Kuma the material is thus always a construction principle, giving rise to the architecture’s aesthetics and symbolism.

Kengo Kuma_B. Boutique
Kengo Kuma_B. Boutique
 
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