Kengo Kuma Denies Copying Zaha Hadid's Tokyo National Stadium Design

12:00 - 19 January, 2016
Kengo Kuma's design. Image © Japan Sport Council
Kengo Kuma's design. Image © Japan Sport Council

In the latest Tokyo National Stadium news, Kengo Kuma is firing back to Zaha Hadid's allegations regarding the "similarities" of the two designs by insisting that his "concept is completely different." As reported the Architects' Journal, the Japanese architect agrees there are some natural similarities due to appropriate sightlines and regulations, however the actual design and concept are radically different.

"I believe that the design by Zaha Hadid was excellent, with a unique shape and demonstration of her philosophy," said Kuma in a press conference. "When we consider the design is being created within the same land, using the same tracks and under the same laws it is natural and almost automatic that there are some similarities which will arise."

"And despite the technical details being similar, the concepts and designs are completely different," he added, referring to Hadid's "saddle-style" design and his flat-roofed proposal. 

Kengo Kuma's Triangular Block Set Now Available

14:40 - 11 January, 2016
via more trees store
via more trees store

Check out this beautifully crafted 13-piece block set designed by Kengo Kuma - the (legendary) Japanese architect recently tapped to design Tokyo's controversial National Stadium. Light, wooden and soft to the touch, each four by four inch component is made of cedar from Japan's Miyazaki Prefecture and notched at the tips for easy stacking. You can order your own set for $70

Kengo Kuma Selected to Design New Tokyo National Stadium

08:01 - 22 December, 2015
© Japan Sport Council via Curbed
© Japan Sport Council via Curbed

Kengo Kuma & Associates have been selected to replace Zaha Hadid Architects to design the new Tokyo National Stadium, the central venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Kuma's design was revealed alongside one other, a design by Toyo Ito, last week, after the original design by Zaha Hadid Architects was scrapped earlier this year. As reported by The Japan TimesKuma's design narrowly won out against Ito's based on nine selection criteria by the Japan Sport Council, being awarded 610 total points compared to Ito's 602. Responding to concerns about the size and cost of Hadid's design, the new design will be under 50 meters tall and cost an estimated ¥153 billion, compared with the 70 meters and ¥252 billion of Hadid's controversial plans.

Kengo Kuma Designs Sculptural Pavilion in Paris

06:00 - 10 November, 2015
© Stefan Tuchila
© Stefan Tuchila

Kengo Kuma & Associates has unveiled its latest project for the Galerie Philippe Gravier in Paris. Entitled Yure, a Japanese expression for a nomadic habitat moving in the wind, the project is made from identical wooden pieces, seeking to blur the lines between art and architecture with its organic structural geometry.

© Stefan Tuchila © Stefan Tuchila © Stefan Tuchila © Stefan Tuchila +25

Exhibition: Childhood ReCollections

07:00 - 25 August, 2015
Daniel Libeskind with accordion in Lodz, Poland, 1955
Daniel Libeskind with accordion in Lodz, Poland, 1955

Zaha Hadid, Kengo Kuma, Daniel Libeskind, Nieto Sobejano, Denise Scott Brown and Philip Treacy reveal the childhood recollections that have shaped their outstanding visions and work.

Architects and designers are often asked whose work inspired them as students and influenced their thinking, but Roca London Gallery’s autumn show suggests that design inspiration actually goes back much further than this, into early childhood, and can take some unexpected forms. 

Spotlight: Kengo Kuma

06:00 - 8 August, 2015
Asakusa Culture and Tourism Centre. Image © Wikimedia user Kakidai
Asakusa Culture and Tourism Centre. Image © Wikimedia user Kakidai

Kengo Kuma (born 8th August, 1956) is one of the most significant Japanese figures in contemporary architecture. His reinterpretation of traditional Japanese architectural elements for the 21st century has involved serious innovation in uses of natural materials, new ways of thinking about light and lightness and architecture that enhances rather than dominates. His buildings don't attempt to fade into the surroundings through simple gestures, as some current Japanese work does, but instead his architecture attempts to manipulate traditional elements into statement-making architecture that still draws links with the area its built in. These high-tech remixes of traditional elements and influences have proved popular across Japan and beyond, and his recent works have begun expanding out of Japan to China and the West.

Kengo Kuma's V&A Dundee Budget "Blown By 70%"

00:00 - 21 January, 2015
© Kengo Kuma & Associates
© Kengo Kuma & Associates

When Kengo Kuma's concept for the new Victoria and Albert Museum of Design (V&A) in Dundee, Scotland, was unanimously chosen as the winning design in late 2012, the jurors had stated that the proposal has been "subject to exhaustive scrutiny, including having external assessors do a detailed examination of projected costs." They stated that they "did not have to exclude any of the submissions on grounds of affordability." It is now reported, a little over two years later, that the original £45million budget has now exceeded £80million in spite of the fact that the building has already been 'redesigned' once in order to try to reign in soaring costs.

Further Delays Predicted for Kengo Kuma's V&A Dundee as Costs Rise

00:00 - 19 January, 2015
© Kengo Kuma & Associates
© Kengo Kuma & Associates

The latest obstacle in a tumultuous project history, figures released by Dundee City Council predict that Kengo Kuma and Associates' V&A museum in Dundee will cost an extra £31 million. Since unanimous selection by a competition jury in 2010, the project has been plagued by budget concerns, prompting a relocation from the original waterfront on the River Tay to a site further inland in 2012. Described by the V&A as "much more than just a building," Kuma's V&A Dundee is now slated to welcome the public in 2018, three years later than originally planned. Learn more about the delays after the break.

© Kengo Kuma & Associates © Kengo Kuma & Associates © Kengo Kuma & Associates © Kengo Kuma & Associates +5

Five Firms Selected for Final Stage of Sydney Art Gallery Expansion

00:00 - 19 January, 2015
Art Gallery of NSW. Image Courtesy of Flickr CC User Jason Starr
Art Gallery of NSW. Image Courtesy of Flickr CC User Jason Starr

Five practices have been selected to move on to the second stage of the Sydney Modern Project, a $450 million expansion of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (NSW). Of the twelve firms invited to participate in the competition, the five that will advance are: Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA; Kengo Kuma & Associates; Kerry Hill Architects; RMA Architects (Rahul Mehrotra Architects); and Sean Godsell Architects.

Spatial Relations Take Centre Stage in MoMA's Newest Architectural Exhibition

00:00 - 12 August, 2014
Herzog & de Meuron’s National Stadium, Beijing. 2008. Image © Iwan Baan
Herzog & de Meuron’s National Stadium, Beijing. 2008. Image © Iwan Baan

What influence do art and space have on the contemporary architectural design process? MoMA's most recent exhibition on architecture and design Conceptions of Space strives to answer this question. Themed under the umbrella of spatial relations, Curator Pedro Gadanho ruminates on the subject in a broad and philosophical sense. The exhibition delves into the topic using an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating research from French philosopher Michel Foucault on the subject of the expanded field. The exhibition aims to explore the relationship between the development of space and its deep-seated roots in the creative arts. 

VIDEO: Kengo Kuma on Architecture, Materials And Music

00:00 - 19 May, 2014

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.

Video: SunnyHills at Minami-Aoyama by Kengo Kuma

00:00 - 6 May, 2014

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.

Siza, Souto de Moura, Kuma Reflect on Their 'Sensing Spaces' Exhibitions

00:00 - 12 February, 2014

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

Installation (Blue Pavilion) by Pezo von Ellrichshausen. Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James Harris Installation by Diebedo Francis Kere. Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James Harris Installation by Kengo Kuma. Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James Harris Installation by Li Xiaodong. Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: Benedict Johnson +5

Seven Architects Transform London’s RA into Multi-Sensory Experience

00:00 - 3 February, 2014
Installation (Blue Pavilion) by Pezo von Ellrichshausen. © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James Harris
Installation (Blue Pavilion) by Pezo von Ellrichshausen. © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James Harris

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.

SOHO China's Zhang Xin on Balancing Design and Commercial Viability

00:00 - 22 October, 2013

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.

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan +5

Kengo Kuma's V&A at Dundee Granted Planning Permission

00:00 - 15 August, 2013
© Kengo Kuma & Associates
© Kengo Kuma & Associates

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. 

Seven Architects, Seven Multi-Sensory Installations Planned for London’s RA

00:00 - 14 August, 2013
Concept image of environment by Li Xiaodong, commissioned by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, detail.Li Xiaodong
Concept image of environment by Li Xiaodong, commissioned by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, detail.Li Xiaodong

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

House Vision 2013 Exhibition Hits Tokyo

00:00 - 16 March, 2013
Courtesy of Retail Design Blog
Courtesy of Retail Design Blog

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.