Kengo Kuma, who was born in Yokohama in the Kanagawa prefecture in 1954, is regarded as one of the most important modern Japanese architects.
He completed his studies at the University of Tokyo in 1979 and spent two years as a visiting researcher there (1985-86).
Kuma established the Spatial Design Studio in 1987, which is now Kengo Kuma & Associates, and his Paris Studio in 2008.
His design philosophy embodies the emotional content of materials, which is connected to construction’s inherent qualities and the Japanese culture’s lessons.
In an effort to discover an alternative to the material that “dominates” the world, Kuma has spent years engaging in a serious critique of what is termed the “concrete method of building” (Treccani).
Kuma frequently likes using “alternative” materials including stone, ceramics, bamboo, plastic, and vinyl in addition to wood. The most obvious and notable design innovation in Kuma’s works is actually his close connection to Japanese tradition.
The use of light, which he employs to create a sense of “spatial immateriality” by utilizing natural materials like glass, is fundamental to his body of work.
The construction thus transforms into a whole habitat where everything dissolves, where there is no fragmentation of areas, and where borders vanish, as Kuma himself noted.
Kuma has a rich academic history in addition to his practical and theoretical efforts. In addition to Columbia University, the University of Illinois, and Keio University, he is currently a professor at the University of Tokyo.
Numerous honors include the Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres della Repubblica Francese and the Architectural Institute of Japan (1997), Finland’s Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award (2002), the International Architecture Award for the Best New Global Design (2007), and many others (2009).
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