Architectures&Architects
Kengo Kuma
Japan

Intro:

Kengo Kuma was born in 1954. He completed his master’s degree at the University of Tokyo in 1979. From 1985 to 1986, he studied at Columbia University as Visiting Scholar. He established Kengo Kuma & Associates 1990. He taught at Keio University from 2001 to 2008, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008, and in 2009, he was installed as Professor at the Graduate Schoolof  Architecture, University of Tokyo.
Among Kuma’s major works are Kirosan Observatory (1995), Water/Glass (1995, received AIA Benedictus Award), Stage in Forest, Toyoma Center for Performance Arts (received 1997 Architectural Institute of Japan Annual Award), Stone Museum (received International Stone Architecture Award 2001), Bato-machi Hiroshige Museum (received The Murano Prize). Recent works include Great Bamboo Wall (2002, Beijing, China), Nezu Museum (2009, Tokyo), Yusuhara Marche and Wooden Bridge Museum (2010). A number of large projects are also going on abroad, including arts centre in Besancon City, France, Granada, Spain, and a new Victoria & Albert Museum building in Dundee, Scotland U.K..

Honour:

He was awarded the International Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award in 2002 (Finland), International Architecture Awards for the Best New Global Design for “Chokkura Plaza and Shelter” in 2007, and Energy Performance + Architectutre Award in 2008 (France).
He is an International Fellow of RIBA, UK, and Honorary Fellow of AIA in the US. Kengo Kuma is also a prolific writer / critic and his books have been translated into English, Chinese and other languages.

Case:

 

Great (Bamboo) Wall
As for the material, we used bamboo as much as possible, since it’s considered as having a significant meaning among Chinese and Japanese cultures. Depending on density of bamboo and its each diameter, it offers a variety of partitioning of space. Making the most of that characteristics, we decided to place a bamboo WALL, a layer of bamboo along the site’s inclination just like the Great Wall. The Great Wall in the past partitioned off two cultures, but this BAMBOO WALL would not only partition but also unite life and culture in various manners as the Great Wall in particles.

 

 

Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum

This is a plan to link two public buildings with a bridge-typed facility, which had been long separated by the road in between. The museum technically bridges communications in this area. It functions not only as a passage between the two facilities but also as an accommodation and workshop, ideal location for artist-in-residence programs. In this project, we challenged a structural system which composes of small parts, referring to cantilever structure often employed in traditional architecture in Japan and China. It is a great example of sustainable design, as you can achieve a big cantilever even without large-sized materials.