Architecture for our time

Posted on June 6, 2021No Comment

Talking to the Louisiana Channel, iconic Japanese architect Kengo Kuma discusses the many influences that have shaped his work.

“The house I grew up in was an old wooden house built in 1942. It was a very small house, a typical wooden house of the time, with tatami mats and paper sliding doors. It was a very important experience for me as a child. I grew up in a small but kind space, and I’m sure it has had a strong impact on my architecture.”

“Wood is the most promising material right now,” he says, describing his fondness for wood as a desire to break away from the prevalence of concrete as a building material in the 20th century.

“I am really impressed by birds’ nests, how birds “collect materials and make their own houses without much ado… You find the original form of a house in the nest.”

“We have gotten this pandemic because we are spoiling the earth. And now when we have spoiled the environment, we can see that our lives are at stake. This pandemic could be our chance to change our way of thinking. After the pandemic, I want to change my architecture to be even more kind to nature. We cannot as before only think of what is inside. People have to get out and walk in nature.”

Kuma explains in the interview the design of the recently completed Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. Originally inspired by Kenzo Tange’s 1964 Olympic Stadium, Kuma instead decided to eschew the monumental nature of Tange’s project and create a structure that, whilst still being a prominent landmark, blended in with its surroundings. The Olympic Stadium is located in Meiji Jingu Gaien – a prominent forest in Tokyo

“But what people need in our time is not something with an interesting form, but something which is in harmony with the forest. Our idea with that building is to show that we live in a time of harmony with nature.” 

“When You Enter Architecture You Enter Another World” in Conversation With Kengo Kuma | ArchDaily

Here’s the video:

Kengo Kuma: Architecture for Our Time on Vimeo