Author(s): Kenneth Frampton
The quintessential Japanese architect of today, Kengo Kuma has forged a modern design language that artfully combines the countries traditional building crafts with sophisticated technologies and materials. Associating a deep understanding and respect for native construction techniques with a more globalized outlook than many of his compatriots, Kengo Kumas work represents a significant generational shift in a country rich with contemporary architecture. From his iconic Glass House (1995) to the Nezu Museum in Tokyo, this is the complete record of Kengo Kumas built work, comprising twentyfour projects to date. Architecture historian Kenneth Frampton frames Kumas work in the context of post-war Japans flourishing architecture scene and influential figures and offers a perspective on the international acclaim of Kumas ideas and buildings. Projects are organized by the material themes that have come to define the architects output: Water and Foliage; Wood; Bamboo and Grass; and Stone and Ceramics. Kuma develops a personal and architectural reflection on each. Each building is presented through descriptive text, newly commissioned photographs and detailed drawings, this last revealing a privileged view of the refined architectonic vocabulary that characterizes Kumas buildings. With the close collaboration of Kuma, this major monograph fully documents a leading light of the global architecture scene, offering a rich insight into contemporary interpretations of Japans ancient building traditions. This beautifully produced book will be an inspiration to any designer who aims to create spaces for history and the future.