Takumi Ota Photography

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Spotlight: Kengo Kuma

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.

Green Cast. Image Courtesy of kengo kuma & associatesGC Prostho Museum Research Center. Image © Daici AnoMême – Experimental House. Image Courtesy of kengo kuma & associatesShun Shoku Lounge by Guranavi. Image Courtesy of kengo kuma & associates+ 37

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+CrowCamper Paseo de Gracia / Kengo Kuma & Associates. Image © ImagenSubliminalGC Prostho Museum Research Center / Kengo Kuma & Associates. Image © Daici AnoArchives Antoni Clavé / Kengo Kuma & Associates. Image © 11h45+ 44

ArchDaily Editors Select 20 Amazing 21st Century Museums

In honor of International Museum Day we’ve collected twenty fascinating museums well worth visiting again. In this round up you’ll find classics - such as Bernard Tschumi Architects' New Acropolis Museum and Zaha Hadid Architects' MAXXI Museum - as well as lesser-known gems - such as Medieval Museum, the Natural History Museum of Utah by Ennead, and the Muritzeum by Wingårdhs. See all of our editors' favorites after the break!

Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum / Kengo Kuma & Associates

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Yusuhara-cho, Japan

Yusuhara Marche / Kengo Kuma & Associates

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Urban Hut / Takehiko Nez Architects

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Tokyo, Japan

Gable House / FORM | Kouichi Kimura

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  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  165
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2010