[Worldkings] Top 50 creative minds in the world (P. 01) Kengo Kuma (Japan): An icon of Japanese 'unbelievably innovative' contemporary architecture

04-05-2023

(Worldkings.org) Kengo Kuma, a famous Japanese architect, has won many architectural awards in Japan, Italy, Finland and other countries.

Kengo Kuma (born on August 8, 1954) is a Japanese architect and emeritus professor in the Department of Architecture (Graduate School of Engineering) at the University of Tokyo. He is the designer of the Japan National Stadium in Tokyo, which was built for the 2020 Summer Olympics, and more than 300 typical architectural works in many countries around the world.

 

In 1987, Kuma founded the Spatial Design Studio, and in 1990, he established his own firm, Kengo Kuma & Associates. Kengo Kuma & Associates employs over 300 architects in Tokyo, China (Beijing and Shanghai) and Paris, designing projects of diverse type and scale throughout the world.

Although remaining in continuity with Japanese traditions with the clarity of structural solutions, implied tectonics, and importance of light and transparency, Kuma does not restrain himself to the banal and superficial use of ‘light’ materials. Instead, he goes much deeper, extending to the mechanisms of composition to expand the possibilities of materiality. He utilizes technological advancements which can challenge unexpected materials, such as stone, into providing the same sense of lightness and softness as glass or wood.

 

In many of Kuma’s projects, attention is focused on the connection spaces; on the segments between inside and outside, and one room to the next. The choice of materials stems not so much from an intention to guide the design of the forms, but to conform to the existing surroundings from a desire to compare similar materials, yet show the technical advances that have made possible new uses.

When dealing with stone work, for example, Kuma displays a different character from the preexisting buildings of solid, heavy, traditional masonry construction. Instead his work surprises the eye by slimming down and dissolving the walls in an effort to express a certain “lightness” and immateriality, suggesting an illusion of ambiguity and weakness not common to the solidity of stone construction.

 

In parallel, Kuma showed material innovation to support local traditional craftsmanship through his works. Collaborating with Japanese craftsmen specialized in wood, earth or paper, he helped in maintaining the associated building techniques while modernizing them, bringing his know-how in modularity. This work led Kuma to win a Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2016.

Key projects include the Suntory Museum of Art in Tokyo, Bamboo Wall House in China, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) Group's Japan headquarters, Besançon Art Center in France, and one of the largest spas in the Caribbean for Mandarin Oriental Dellis Cay, and more.

 

According to Wikipedia


Kyna ( Collect) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos: Internet)

 

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