Book Club: Kuma – Japanese Architecture “Tradition meets the modern”

Our book tip of the month lets you discover the innovative architecture of the Japanese visionary Kengo Kuma with the beginning of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo

Book Club: Kuma - Japanese Architecture Tradition meets modernity
Source & Copyright by TASCHEN

Author: House of Eden

Kuma. Complete Works 1988 - Today

The Japanese architect Kengo Kuma is known for his tactile architecture, which gives tradition new strength and lightness. For inspiration away from the modern architecture of the 20th century, he traveled through Japan. He discovered local craftsmanship as well as resource-conscious work for himself and combined it with modern architecture.

Side cover Kuma Japan's national stadium for the Olympic Games

Source & Copyright by TASCHEN

Sustainable principles

For Kuma, sustainable architecture means maintaining traditions in combination with innovative structures, using local craftsmanship and knowledge. “Respect for the culture and the environment of the place where I work,” says Kuma, is the primary requirement in his designs.

Kengo Kuma side opening Great Bamboo Wall

Source & Copyright by TASCHEN

Sensitivity and focus on the environment

Well-known works by Kuma are the light and air permeable China Academy of Arts' Folk Art Museum, a chapel made of birch trunks and moss in the Japanese province of Nagano or the V&A Dundee Museum in Scotland. His works are shaped by his remarkable awareness of space, light and texture. Now his last work is going around the world again. From July 23, 2021 you can marvel at Japan's national stadium, designed by Kengo Kuma, as part of the Summer Olympics.

Kuma V&A Dundee Museum

Source & Copyright by TASCHEN © Hufton + Crow

Time travel through Kuma's architecture

Our book tip of the month contains around 500 photos, sketches and plans that enable a journey through time through Kuma's entire career. In this monograph older projects, which are to be viewed worldwide, as well as his current projects for sustainable design and architecture by Kuma can be viewed. Kuma is considered an inspiration for sustainable and innovative design in line with modern progress.

Kuma Yusuhara Community Library in Japan

Yusuhara Community Library in Japan, Source & Copyright by TASCHEN © Masaki Hamada

About the artist:
Kengo Kuma (born 1954 in Yokohama) attended the University of Tokyo and founded the Spatial Design Studio in 1979 after further studies at Columbia University, New York. In 1987 he founded Kengo Kuma & Associates. He lives in Tokyo and Paris while teaching at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Tokyo, where he also runs his own laboratory, Kuma Lab.

About the editor:
Philip Jodidio studied art history and economics at Harvard and was editor-in-chief of the French art magazine Connaissance des Arts for over two decades. His publications at TASCHEN include the Architecture Now! as well as his monographs on Tadao Ando, ​​Santiago Calatrava, Renzo Piano, Jean Nouvel, Shigeru Ban, Richard Meier, Zaha Hadid and soon Norman Foster.

This book was published by TASCHEN VERLAG and is available here.


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