Talking to the Louisiana Channel, iconic Japanese architect Kengo Kuma discusses the many influences that have shaped his work - and also delves into the impact that the ongoing pandemic has had on the architectural field. In the interview, Kuma describes how influential his early upbringing was to his architectural career. Growing up in a small wooden house in the 1950s - originally built in 1942, would go on to guide his architectural perchance of using wood in his projects. Kuma also mentions Japanese architect Kenzu Tange as a key inspiration and cites Tange's Yoyogi National Gymnasium - constructed for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo - as a project that would influence him towards an architectural career.
Kengo Kuma: The Latest Architecture and News
Kengo Kuma and Associates, together with Bekim Ramku and OUD+ Architects, has recently been awarded first prize in the competition to redesign the Gërmia building into a concert hall and will lead the conversion of Prishtina’s architectural icon into a cultural landmark for Kosovo. The proposal preserves the existing structures and articulates the program within and around the modernist buildings. The design envisions a canopy weaving together the different volumes and creating a new layer of public space.
The Chilean organization Ruta Pais Foundation has invited international architects and local artisans to design a series of architectural interventions in order to create 3 artisan routes in the Chilean Central Valley: Wicker Route in Chimbarongo, Clay Route in Pomaire, and Stone Route in Pelequén.
Construction has begun on “Welcome, feeling at work”, a biophilic office of the future in Milan, Italy. Designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates and commissioned by Europa Risorse, this venture seeks to create a workspace centered on employee health and wellbeing, integrated within its local environment. Imagined to be one of the most sustainable office development to date, the project is scheduled for 2024.
Scheduled to open in the summer of 2021, the H.C. Andersen’s House is a new museum, designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates in Odense, Denmark. Reinterpreting the story of the Danish author’s life and work, the project “will provide a unique artistic experience, which combines landscape, architecture and modern exhibition design”.
Foster + Partners is designing Hotel 12, on the Ummahat AlShaykh Island in Saudi Arabia. Developed by the Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the project is one of two hotels on the island, the first being planned by Kengo Kuma.
Kengo Kuma & Associates has designed a series of luxury villas for a new tourism development in Saudi Arabia. The project was commissioned by The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) as part of The Red Sea Project. Featuring seven typologies, the design will include villas built on land and overwater. The project aims to set new standards in sustainable development as a global tourism destination.
After MAD’s Wormhole Library, the city of Haikou revealed a pavilion by Sou Fujimoto Architects. Scheduled for the end of spring, the ribbon-like white pavilion with an accessible roof will be one of the first public waterfront interventions to be completed in the spring of 2021. Shaping the future of Haikou city and Hainan Free Trade Port, the master plan of 16 permanent destinations re-imagines the future of coastal living.
What might be called the Art Fair Industrial Complex has been an ambivalent force on both art markets and art itself in recent years: in one view, fairs offer their attendees chances to see international work they wouldn’t otherwise have access to; in another, the vast mall of it all dulls context into commerce.
Kengo Kuma & Associates and Mad Arkitekter won the competition for the new Ibsen Library in Skien, Norway. Working with BuroHappold Engineering, the team created the design to celebrate the renowned playwright Henrik Ibsen. As a new cultural center for the city, the project creates multiple access points across multiple floors to form a welcoming environment. The library aims to make Ibsen’s drama and literature accessible to everyone.
Stefano Boeri Interiors has unveiled images of his latest circular wooden installation, in an open-air setting of contemporary art. Entitled TREE-ROOM, the project in which “humans and living nature come together, between meditation and contemplation”, is designed for Arte Sella and is located in the garden of Villa Strobele in Val di Sella, in Northern Italy.
The results of the International Competition for the Architectural Landscape Design Concept for the Tuchkov Buyan Park were just revealed. The proposal by Studio 44 in consortium with WEST 8 won the first place, JV Vogt in consortium with Herzog & de Meuron won the second place while AB CHVOYA in consortium with KARAVAN landskapsarkitekter took the third position.
When reflecting on recycling, sustainability, measures to take, and innovative technological solutions, one cannot help but think that there are also familiar approaches that should be taken into consideration. In fact, when examining the impact of the built environment on the climate, one notes that in many countries, 80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 have already been built. The most effective form of sustainability may, therefore, be saving energy by eliminating or minimizing new constructions, and by avoiding the demolition of existing structures.
That is what adaptive reuse stands for: instilling a new purpose on an existing “leftover building.” Nowadays, the refashioning process is becoming essential because of numerous issues related to the climate emergency, plot and construction costs, a saturation of land, and a change in living trends.
Kengo Kuma Associates and K2LD Architects have won the competition to design the new Singapore Founders Memorial. Selected from 193 submissions, the project is made to honor Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, as well as those leaders that played significant roles in the city-state’s path to independence. The jury unanimously selected the winning design for its response to the brief and site, emphasizing Singapore as a “City in a Garden” while allowing for future growth.
Kengo Kuma's architecture can be defined by its respect to Japanese constructive traditions and alignment with its context. Internationally recognized, the architect is known mainly for his wooden (or mixed) structures, which arise from a simple pattern of assembly and, which through different intersections and angles, generate a complex whole. The representations created by his team bring very specific details, ranging from didactic isometrics to complex parametric drawings. We have gathered details of five inspiring projects by Kengo Kuma that use wood.
Another year, another successful ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards! With more than 95,000 votes gathered over the past 20 days, the results of the 2020 edition are in! Once more, the award has proved to be the largest architecture prize centered around people’s opinion. Crowdsourced, the most relevant projects of the year were both nominated and selected by our readers.
Set to officially open by Spring of 2020, Ace Hotel Kyoto, designed by Kengo Kuma, is a 213- room hotel in Japan. With a program that stretches over a newly built part and an existing historical fragment, that once hosted the Kyoto Central Telephone Company created by Tetsuro Yoshida, the structure is envisioned as a "Cultural Catalyst".