In Kengo Kuma’s work you may see influences of light, transparency and materiality. But when visiting the Woodbury School of Architecture in San Diego, Kengo Kuma shared a few of his not so apparent influences, from Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn to jazz music. Make sure to view “Knowing Kuma” to see the architect’s definition of architecture, materials and more.
As a part of his ongoing film series about Japanese architecture, French architect and filmmaker Vincent Hecht has created this visual exploration of SunnyHills at Minami-Aoyama by Kengo Kuma. Designed to resemble a bamboo basket, this pineapple cake shop is built using the traditional Japanese joint technique of “Jiigoku-Gumi.” The wooden latticework is meant to provide visual contrast with the concrete facades of the building’s neighbors.
As an accompaniment to their ongoing Sensing Spaces Exhibition in London, the Royal Academy of Arts has produced six wonderful films interviewing the architects involved in the exhibition, unearthing what motivates and inspires them as architects, and what the primary themes of their exhibition projects are.
The above video features both Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura, who both designed their Sensing Spaces exhibits with the other in mind. Siza explains his preoccupation with the joints between the natural and the man-made through his Leça Swimming Pool complex, and the way the rock formations informed his interventions. He also introduces his one-time protégé Souto de Moura’s Braga stadium as expressing the same understanding of the natural and man-made.
See videos from the 5 other Sensing Spaces participants after the break
This past week London’s Royal Academy of Arts (RA) celebrated the opening of, what many claim to be, one of the most “epic” and “enchanting” exhibitions of 2014: Sensing Space: Architecture Reimagined. With a series of large scale installations by some of profession’s most acclaimed architects, such as Eduardo Souto de Moura, and Kengo Kuma, the immersive exhibition creates an atmosphere that encourages visitors to become part of the experience and open their minds to the sensory realm of architecture.
“Architecture is so often the background to our lives,” stated curator Kate Goodwin. “We often don’t think about it – it’s practical and functional, but when does it do something more?”
A preview of the installations, after the break.
The list of architects that have collaborated with Zhang Xin’s development company, SOHO China, reads like the roster of an architectural dream team (which includes Zaha Hadid, Yung Ho Chang, Bjarke Ingels, Kengo Kuma, Kazuyo Sejima, Herzog & de Meuron, Thom Mayne, David Adjaye, Toyo Ito and others). So it’s no surprise that the self-made billionaire lectured to a packed house at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design last Thursday. Xin spoke about her commitment to and love of design, explaining that her company’s mission is to bring a variety of architectural languages to China. And though SOHO’s projects are certainly experimental, Xin contends that her developer mindset actually helps meliorate the architect’s propensity to take the experiment too far—all without sacrificing the impressive and iconic forms of SOHO’s building portfolio.
Watch Zhang Xin link her practice in real estate to larger global issues and catch a glimpse of two Zaha Hadid-designs currently under construction: Wangjing SOHO and Sky SOHO.
After a slight redesign scaled the building’s stone facade back from the waters edge to reduce construction costs, Kengo Kuma & Associates has been granted planning permission from the city council’s development management committee to construct the V&A at Dundee. The “world-class,” competition-winning proposal will be the first V&A museum constructed outside of London, serving as an international center of design for all of Scotland.
The Royal Academy of Arts’ (RA) in London will soon be transformed into a multi-sensory “architectural maze” with the construction of seven installations by seven world-famous architects for the exhibit, Sensing Space: Architecture Reimagined. Participants, handpicked by curators Kate Goodwin and Drue Heinz, include Alvaro Siza, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Pezo von Ellrichshausen and Kengo Kuma.
Graphic designer and curator Kenya Hara has put together a three week-long exhibition in Tokyo focusing on the future of the Japanese house. Hara argues that the housing industry can no longer be isolated but must be combined with other industries, technologies and ideas, including energy, transportation, communication, household appliances, the “vision of happiness” pursued by adults, the representation of Japanese traditions and aesthetics as well as a future vision of health. All of these elements he hopes to present and discuss at the House Vision Exhibition where more than ten types of futuristic houses are on display and daily seminars with expert urban planners, developers, contractors, architects, telecom and even gas organizations have been taking place.
Read more about the exhibition after the break.
This past Tuesday, Kengo Kuma of Kengo Kuma and Associates, Tokyo, lectured at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). His discussion centered around the epochal challenge architecture must respond to following the great disaster of March 11, 2011. The tsunami, which flattened the Tohoku coastline in a matter of seconds, and catastrophic nuclear accident that followed proved our infrastructure to be insufficient in the age of technology. With this realization, Kuma understands that we must learn from what happened and “start again from scratch”.
Tonight, Kengo Kuma will be lecturing at the Woodbury School of Architecture in San Diego at 6:30pm. Shortly following his Woodbury appearance, the Japanese architect will then make his way across the country to Columbia University’s GSAAP (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation)Wood Auditorium in New York City to present his lecture, Minimize: Small Architecture after 3/11, on Wednesday the 10th at 6:30pm. Both lectures are free and open to the public.
Reena Jana of SmartPlanet recently interviewed the award-winning, Japanese architect Hitoshi Abe on the lessons he has learned from the March 11, 2011 earthquake that destroyed his hometown in Sendai, Japan. Abe believes that the memory of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that hit the coast of northeaster Japan, triggering a tsunami that sent waves as far as six miles inland must remain fresh in our minds. His goal is to educate everyday citizens around the globe, as well as future generations, on how to better cope with large-scale natural disasters. Currently, he is serving as a guest-curator for a travel exhibition entitled Moving Forward: Life After the Great East Japan Earthquake. This exhibit brings to life the haunting reality of the devastation through a series of large-scale photographs and photographic essays that reveal individual stories of survival immediately following the disaster. The exhibit commemorates the victims and struggles of the survivors, while highlighting the reconstruction and recovery efforts.
Continue reading for more.
Through our interview program, I’ve had the chance to meet with some of the world’s most renowned architects, while creating a moment to share their views about the profession with our readers.
During the 2011 AIA National Convention, I had the chance to meet Kengo Kuma, one of Japan’s most recognized architects, whose work I admire. His recent works use subtle elements with a powerful structural expression, and interesting spatial results for different programs of various scales.
Established in 1990, Kengo Kuma & Associates have become known for their expressive use of materiality and deep connection with nature. The mid-sized firm is involved in a wide spectrum of work, ranging from private residences, to Buddhist temples and art museums. Kengo Kuma & Associates consist of two offices located in Tokyo and Paris.
Principle Architect Kengo Kuma is a professor at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Tokyo. His goal is to recover traditional Japanese design and reinterpret it for the 21st century. Inspiration of light and nature guides the design process and influences his unique explorations with glass, wood, concrete and stone. Kuma strives to create architecture that coexists with the natural environment and works in harmony with the human body.
Kengo Kuma has won a multitude of competitions and received many awards, including the prestigious Architecture Institute of Japan Award (1997) and most recently the Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award (2002) and the AIA Honorary Fellowship (2011). Major works include the Kirosan Observatory, Water / Glass, Toyoma Center for Performing Arts, Stone Museum and Bato-machi Hiroshige Museum. Recent works include the Mesh / Earth terrace house, the Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum and the Suntory Museum of Art.
Projects by Kengo Kuma & Associates at ArchDaily:
From the Kengo Kuma Lab in the University of Tokyo, we received this video showing an architecture related exhibition on intermediate space and experimental architecture inspired by Japanese traditional patterns that we recently exhibited in Tokyo, curated by Kengo Kuma, Matteo Belfiore, and Salvator-John A. Liotta, which is part of two exhibitions and a series of symposia organized by The Italian Cultural Center of Tokyo in concomitance with the UIA International Congress of Architecture.
Some more images after the break.
Tea ceremonies have evolved a great deal since they first got their start in the ninth century, and as the ceremonies have grown and shifted in purpose, so have the tea houses that hold them.
Initially tea was seen as a medicine used to cultivate the mind, body and spirit; tea was seen as good for monks because it helped them to stay awake for long periods of meditation. For this reason, the military class sponsored the construction of large zen temples for monks to drink tea in. As tea began to grow in popularity beyond the temple, tea ceremonies became a source of entertainment for members of the upper class who could afford to gamble, read poetry and attend tea parties in extravagant pavilions. More information after the break.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently announced the recipients of the 2011 Honorary Fellowship (Hon. FAIA). This is given to architects with distinguished achievements, who display exceptional character and are held in high esteem by colleagues. Hon. FAIA members are neither U.S. citizens nor U.S. residents, and do not primarily practice architecture within the domain of the AIA.
The 2011 Hon. FAIA recipients:
Angelo Bucci, Brazil, SPBR Arquitectos
Kristin Jarmund, Norway, Kristin Jarmund Arkitekter
Marcio Kogan, Brazil, Studio mk27
Kengo Kuma, Japan, Kengo Kuma and Associate
Carme Pinós, Spain, Estudio Carme Pinós
Louise Cox, Australia, Professional Organization: International Union of Architects
Many of the Hon. FAIA recipients have had featured work on ArchDaily. Take a look at Kengo Kuma’s winning design for the new landmark building V&A at Dundee, Kristin Jarmund Arkiteckter’s Gjerdrum Secondary School in Norway, Angelo Bucci’s House in Ubatuba, Marcio Kogan’s Osler House, and the Spain Department Building design by Carme Pinós which will be part of the Vienna University Campus.
Just announced today, Kengo Kuma’s design was chosen for the new landmark building V&A at Dundee. Kengo Kuma beat out the four other shortlisted designs from Steven Holl Architects, REX, Snøhetta, Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, and Sutherland Hussey Architects.
Kengo Kuma will lead the design team which includes the Scottish firms cre8architecture, Optimised Environments Ltd, and CBA, and the engineering firm Arup.
Bustler broke the news of Kengo Kuma’s win earlier today.
In May we presented Kengo Kuma’s CCCWall Installation in anticipation for the now completed CCCloud monument. CCCloud, or Casalgrande Ceramic Cloud, Kengo Kuma’s first built work of architecture in Italy was completed September 2010. The monument, located in the middle of a roundabout in front of Casalgrande Padana‘s Headquarters, is the collaborative result of Kengo Kuma’s team, the University represented by Alfonso Acocella and Luigi Alini, and the authorities of Casalgrande Padana. The monument is remarkably made out of unglazed ceramic tiles that have been adapted for structural use that are produced by the client, Casalgrande Padana.
Read on for more information and images after the break.