with three planned locations around the world — in london, los angeles, and são paulo — ‘japan house’ is an initiative that aims to nurture a deeper understanding and appreciation of japan throughout the international community. for its first outpost in brazil, the organization — which was created by the japanese government — commissioned kengo kuma to establish a warm and hospitable environment at the heart of the bustling metropolis.

kengo kuma japan house sao paulo
a welcoming façade made from cypress trees greets visitors
image © kengo kuma & associates (main image © tatewaki nio)

 

 

oriented towards the passing street, kengo kuma’s welcoming façade made from cypress trees greets visitors and provides access to a secluded courtyard set back from the sidewalk. the project’s interior wall surfaces feature a washi texture, referencing the traditional style of paper that was first made in japan. serving as a new tourist attraction for the city, the building contains abundant gallery space, lecture halls, retail outlets, and restaurants.

kengo kuma japan house sao paulo
a secluded courtyard is set back from the sidewalk
image © tatewaki nio

 

 

japan house são paulo opened in may 2017, with the two branches in london and los angeles expected to open later in the year. the three destinations will serve as platforms to disseminate japanese culture — ancient and contemporary. the brazil outpost is currently hosting two exhibitions: ‘subtle’, a show that presents 27 inventive paper creations; and ‘eterno efêmero’, a display dedicated to the work of the building’s architect, kengo kuma. both remain on view, and free of charge, until september 10, 2017.

kengo kuma japan house sao paulo
interior wall surfaces feature a washi texture
image © rogério cassimiro

kengo kuma japan house sao paulo
a warm and hospitable environment has been created at the heart of the bustling metropolis
image © rogério cassimiro

kengo kuma japan house sao paulo
the façade features numerous wooden slats
image © kengo kuma & associates

 

 

project info:

 

location: são paulo, brazil
completed: february 2017
function: multipurpose hall
area: 2,244.03 sqm / 24,154.54 sqf

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