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21 Projects Where Kengo Kuma (Re)Uses Materials in Unusual Ways

Kengo Kuma uses materials to connect with the local context and the users of his projects. The textures and elementary forms of constructive systems, materials, and products, are exhibited and used in favor of the architectural concept, giving value to the functions that will be carried out in each building.

From showcases made with ceramic tiles to the sifted light created by expanded metal panels, passing through an ethereal polyester coating, Kuma understands the material as an essential component that can make a difference in architecture from the design stages. Next, we present 21 projects where Kengo Kuma masterfully uses construction materials.

V&A Dundee / Kengo Kuma and Associates. Image © Hufton+Crow Camper Paseo de Gracia / Kengo Kuma & Associates. Image © ImagenSubliminal GC Prostho Museum Research Center / Kengo Kuma & Associates. Image © Daici Ano Archives Antoni Clavé / Kengo Kuma & Associates. Image © 11h45 + 44

100 Public Spaces: From Tiny Squares to Urban Parks

© DuoCai Photograph
© DuoCai Photograph

© Gianluca Stefani © Thomas Zaar © Tomasz Zakrzewski © Sebastien Michelini + 112

This collection is one of many interesting content groupings made by our registered users. Remember you can save and manage what inspires you on My ArchDaily. Create your account here.

The key to successfully designing or recovering public spaces is to achieve a series of ingredients that enhance their use as meeting places. Regardless of their scale, some important tips are designing for people's needs, the human scale, a mix of uses, multifunctionality and flexibility, comfort and safety, and integration to the urban fabric.

To give you some ideas on how to design urban furniture, bus stops, lookouts, bridges, playgrounds, squares, sports spaces, small parks and urban parks, check out these 100 notable public spaces.

New Visitor Center of Cluny Museum / Bernard Desmoulin Architecte

© Michel DENANCE © Michel DENANCE © Célia UHALDE © Michel DENANCE + 22

Paris, France

French Embassy in Haiti / Explorations Architecture

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé + 27

Puerto Príncipe, Haiti

Spotlight: Renzo Piano

Architecture is art, but art vastly contaminated by many other things. Contaminated in the best sense of the word—fed, fertilized by many things.
– Renzo Piano

Italian architect Renzo Piano (born 14 September 1937) is known for his delicate and refined approach to building, deployed in museums and other buildings around the world. Awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1998, the Pritzker Jury compared him to Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Brunelleschi, highlighting "his intellectual curiosity and problem-solving techniques as broad and far ranging as those earlier masters of his native land."

Pathé Foundation. Image © Michel Denancé Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Image © Nic Lehoux Harvard Art Museums Renovation and Expansion. Image © Nic Lehoux Menil Collection. Image © D Jules Gianakos + 24

Cultural Centers: 50 Examples in Plan and Section

How many times have you been faced with the challenge of designing a cultural center? While this may seem like quite a feat, many architects have had to design a program that blends a community center with culture.

Among the projects published on our site, we have found numerous examples that highlight different responses, from flexible configurations to sites that prioritize central gathering areas for citizens and activities. See our series of 50 community centers and their plans and sections below.

Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church / Renzo Piano Building Workshop

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Gianni Berengo Gardin © Vittorio Grassi + 20

San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy

Printemps Haussmann Verticalité / UUfie

© Michel Denance
© Michel Denance

© Michel Denance © Michel Denance © Michel Denance © Michel Denance + 35

  • Architects: UUfie
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 2000.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2017

15 Impressive Atriums (And Their Sections)

Cortesía de 3XN Cortesía de Paul de Ruiter Architects Cortesía de Renzo Piano Building Workshop + Payette Cortesía de Renzo Piano Building Workshop + 31

Offices and cultural buildings both offer the perfect opportunity to design the atrium of your dreams. These central spaces, designed to allow serendipitous meetings of users or to help with orientation in the building, are spacious and offer a lot of design freedom. Imposing scales, sculptural stairs, eccentric materials, and indoor vegetation are just some of the resources used to give life to these spaces. To help you with your design ideas, below we have gathered a selection of 15 notable atriums and their section drawings.

The Shard / Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Rob Telford © Michel Denancé + 28

Millénaire Footbridge / Explorations Architecture

© Luis Diaz Diaz © Michel Denancé © Luis Diaz Diaz © Karolina Samborwska + 17

The 10 Best Global* Architecture Projects of 2016 (*Asia, Africa and South America Not Excluded)

As the common phrase attests, “history is written by the victors.” We therefore know that the story of the West is that of Europe and the United States, while the other actors in world history are minimized or invisible: it happened to the Chinese and Japanese during World War II, to the Ottoman Empire in sixteenth-century Europe, and to racial majorities in the common reading of Latin American independence. The same thing happens in architecture.

The current boom of the Global South is based not only on new work, but rather on the recognition of an invisible architecture which was apparently not worthy of publication in the journals of the 1990s. The world stage has changed, with the emergence of a humanity that is decentralized yet local; globalized, yet heterogeneous; accelerated, yet unbalanced. There are no longer red and blue countries, but a wide variety of colors, exploding like a Pollock painting.

This serves as a preamble to consider the outstanding projects of 2016 according to the British critic Oliver Wainwright, whose map of the world appears to extend from New York in the West to Oslo in the East, with the exception of Birzeit in Palestine. The Global South represents more than 40% of the global economy and already includes most of the world’s megacities, yet has no architecture worthy of recognition? We wanted to highlight the following projects in order to expand the western-centric world view, enabling us to truly comprehend the extent of architectural innovation on a global scale.

Plein Ciel / MG-AU / Michel Guthmann Architecture et Urbanisme

© Takuji Shimmura  © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Takuji Shimmura  + 27

Clichy, France

Under One Roof / Kengo Kuma & Associates

© Michel Denance © Michel Denance © Michel Denance © Michel Denance + 42

Lausanne, Switzerland

56 Apartments in Nantes / PHD Architectes

© Sergio Grazia © Michel Denancé © Sergio Grazia © Sergio Grazia + 23

Nantes, France

Transformation of Office Building To 90 Apartments / MOATTI-RIVIERE

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé + 24

Charenton-le-Pont, France
  • Architects: MOATTI-RIVIERE
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 3884.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2016

Le Signe National Centre for Graphic Design / MOATTI-RIVIERE

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé + 19

Chaumont, France
  • Architects: MOATTI-RIVIERE
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 2460.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2016

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre / Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Courtesy of SNFCC Courtesy of RPBW © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé + 22