Une vie d’architecte à Tokyo
“The criterion for post-tsunami architecture is humility.” Kengo Kuma was almost 10 years old when he visited, on the occasion of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the Yoyogi gymnasium, in the shape of a huge fish, designed by Kenzo Tange. This building marked him deeply and following this strong experience, he decided to become an architect. Passionate about the traditional culture and architecture of his country, where the use and work of wood are pushed to a sort of symbolic paroxysm and where natural materials and ancestral gestures are surprisingly mixed with an uncompromising modernity, Kengo Kuma made its way. He created his studio in 1990 and today finds himself at the head of a group of architectural firms established in Japan, China, the United States and France. His production, impressive in number of projects, nevertheless remains marked by the same philosophy: audacious inventiveness and frugality of means, recourse to traditional materials (wood, bamboo, earth, stone) used in a contemporary way and, conversely, , a vernacular use of innovative materials, respect for history and sites.
Through twenty-five stories centered around neighborhoods and some of his projects, this intimate work paints a picture of the Tokyo that inspired a young boy's vocation and illustrates how Japan's national heritage has helped shape his thinking and his inspiration in the long term. It also offers us to give us an overview of Japanese culture and the keys to understanding how tradition and modernity are articulated in Japan. "We must seek to structure nature and not naturalize architecture, as our predecessors had attempted."
Author: Kengo Kuma
Publisher: Editions Parentheses
Printed by: Printer Trento Srl
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