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 in which it's built. 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.
The UIA (International Union of Architects) world congresses are a premier forum for professionals and future leaders in the field of architecture to exchange the best and latest practices, visions and first-hand experience. The UIA 2017 Seoul, in particular, will promote various innovative architectural techniques and technologies among member sections and global citizens. In doing so, academic programs, exhibitions, competitions, student activities, and public outreach programs will simultaneously take place.
London-based firm Studioshaw has won a competition to design a hub facility for children and young people in Dundee, Scotland. The Interactive Hub will be located on the site of a former railway depot at the Seabraes Yards Digital Media Park. The competition, hosted by the Dundee Institute of Architects (DIA) and Scottish Enterprise, was one of 400 events taking place across Scotland as part of the RIAS 2016 Festival of Architecture.
Four top architects – Thom Mayne (Morphosis), Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma and Peter Zumthor – have been tapped to contribute designs for the new “House of Architects” at the 7132 Hotel in Vals Switzerland. The latest addition to the hotel, The House of Architects features a lobby and entrance also designed by Morphosis Architects, and 7 room designs centered around a single material.
A new collection of five minute-long On Design stories—developed by the team behind Section D, Monocle 24's 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft—profile a person, survey a place, or unpack an idea that’s changing or shaping design and architecture today. We've selected fourteen of our favorites from the ongoing series, examining issues as wide as Postmodernism and the architectural competition, to five-minute profiles of Alvaro Siza, Josef Hoffman, Kengo Kuma and Superstudio.
Construction has begun on Kengo Kuma’s design for the Tokyo 2020 National Olympic Stadium, a year after the scheme was selected to replace the original stadium design by Zaha Hadid Architects and three and a half years before the event’s opening ceremony on July 24, 2020.
Kengo Kuma & Associates have been tapped to design a new high-rise residential complex on Kutuzovsky Prospekt in Moscow, adjacent to the new business district of Moscow City. The project will be the first urban plan in Moscow to take the form of superstructures rather than individual buildings, and will be Kuma’s first project in the Russian Capital.
Article 25's "10x10" Auction Features Work by Zaha Hadid, Kengo Kuma, Richard Meier & Antony Gormley
In celebration of their 10-year anniversary, Article 25, the world's largest architectural charity, will hold this year's "10x10 Drawing the City London" event on November 29 at the Royal Institute of British Architects. Each year, representatives from UK's top architecture studios and property and design industries gather to raise funds for Article 25's work in developing countries. The event features an auction of artwork by 100 prominent rising artists, designers, and architects; this year's participants include Kengo Kuma, Richard Meier, Antony Gormley, Zaha Hadid Design, and David Adjaye.
BIG and French studio Silvio d'Ascia have been selected to design the new Pont de Bondy metro station in Paris. The station is the latest design to be announced as part of the Société du Grand París’ Grand Paris Express project, which is seeking to modernize the existing transport network through the addition of nearly 200 kilometers of rail lines and a series of architect-designed stations throughout the city.
Of a total of 68 new stations, nine have been labeled as “emblematic,” meaning that they are expected to serve as significant neighborhood nodes within the larger masterplan. The Pont de Bondy station will constitute one of these emblematic projects, joining designs from Kengo Kuma & Associates, Dominique Perrault, Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue (EMBT) and Bordas+Peiro, Agence Duthilleul, and Elizabeth de Portzamparc.
New images from HOUSE VISION Tokyo 2016 have been released as the event opened to the public this past weekend. This year’s theme, “Co-Dividual: Split and Connect / Separate and Come Together,” explores how architecture can create new connections between individuals, and the ways Japanese housing can adapt to cultural shifts through the implementation of technology.
This year’s exhibition features house designs by top Japanese architects including Sou Fujimoto, Kengo Kuma, Shigeru Ban and Atelier Bow-Wow, each paired with a leading company to envision and implement new strategies in housing design.
Continue after the break to see images from the event and the pavilions.
Following the success of the inaugural HOUSE VISION Tokyo in 2013, the exhibition is set to return again this summer under the theme of “Co-Dividual: Split and Connect / Separate and Come Together.” Once again curated by Kenya Hara, designer and creative director for minimalist housewares retailer Muji, the month-long event will tackle the objective of “thinking about how to create new connections between individuals,” as well as build upon the topics explored by its previous edition, namely the ways in which Japanese housing can adapt to recent demographic, technological and cultural shifts, and the vision of the house as the intersection between industries.
This year’s exhibition will feature house designs by top Japanese architects such as Sou Fujimoto, Kengo Kuma, Shigeru Ban and Atelier Bow-Wow, each paired with a leading company to envision and implement new strategies in housing design. The houses will be constructed at full-scale, allowing event-goers to fully experience and reflect upon each design.
Kengo Kuma & Associates, in a team with Cornelius+Vöge and landscape architects MASU planning, have revealed plans for the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense, Denmark. Channeling the otherworldliness of Andersen’s fairy tales, the 5,600 square meter building is two-thirds below grade, leaving ground level space for “enchanted” gardens of large trees, lawns, box hedges, and tall shrubs. The museum building is an ambling collection of cylindrical volumes, with glass and lattice timber facades beneath scooped green roofs, all surrounding a sunken courtyard space. The project will replace an existing museum that is largely focused on the author’s personal life with one that is more centered on his stories.
Kengo Kuma and Associates has revealed plans for the office’s first North American skyscraper, a mixed-use luxury tower on a site adjacent to Stanley Park in Vancouver. Known as ‘Alberni by Kuma,’ the 43-story tower combines 181 residences with retail space and a restaurant in a rectilinear volume accented by "scoops" on two sides. These curvatures are the building’s most important formal attribute, while a moss garden at the tower's base is its most important spatial feature. The project is being organized by Westbank and Peterson, and is part of a group of architecturally significant projects being developed by the pair in the west coast city.
Japan-based Komatsu Seiten Fabric Laboratory has created a new thermoplastic carbon fiber composite called CABKOMA Strand Rod. The Strand Rod is a carbon fiber composite which is covered in both synthetic and inorganic fibers and finished with a thermoplastic resin. The material has been used on the exterior of Komatsu Seiten’s head office.
Darling Harbour has commissioned Kengo Kuma to design a new civic and creative center in Sydney - the Japanese practice's first Australian project. The 30-meter-tall, wood-clad "Darling Exchange" will rise six stories and provide space for a ground-floor market hall, library, childcare center, makerspace, and additional program for start-ups, as well as a rooftop bar and restaurant.
“Our aim is to achieve architecture that is an open and tangible as possible to the community, and this is reflected in the circular geometry that creates a building that is accessible and recognizable from multiple directions,” said Kuma.
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.
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.