an exhibition that focuses on the broad range of materials used by kengo kuma has opened in tokyo. the display, which forms a major survey of kuma’s work from the past 30 years, places a particular emphasis on materiality, and arranges kuma’s projects not chronologically, but rather by their primary material. by organizing work into categories such as bamboo, wood, paper, stone, and earth, the presentation mediates between human sensibility and awareness and the larger environment.

 

designboom was in tokyo to take a tour of exhibtion and get a closer look at the models and material samples on display.

kengo kuma lab materials
view into the exhibition
image © designboom

 

 

through models, mock-ups, videos, and material samples, the exhibition showcases kengo kuma’s work from a multifaceted perspective and presents the architect’s vision for the future of how materials and humans can relate. highlights include plans for a new pavilion built from bamboo, as well as previous structures that use material in innovative ways. ‘a lab for materials’ is the first architecture-related exhibition at tokyo station gallery in three years, and the first to feature an individual architect since a show dedicated to the work of kunio maekawa 12 years ago.

kengo kuma lab materials
coeda house, 2017 (center) | see the project on designboom here
image © designboom

 

 

‘architecture is ultimately about materials,’ says kengo kuma. ‘it is a conversation between materials and human beings. the world is a large, enigmatic thing, but through materials, through their concrete presence, a dialogue is possible with human beings. in the 20th century, because of concrete, the conversation has become stiff and formal, and people’s expressions have darkened. let a lively conversation begin again with a broad range of materials.’

 

‘kengo kuma: a lab for materials’ remains on view at tokyo station gallery until may 6, 2018.

kengo kuma lab materials
coeda house, 2017 | see the project on designboom here
image © kawasumi・kobayashi kenji photograph office

kengo kuma lab materials
nangchang-nangchang, 2013
image © designboom

kengo kuma lab materials
nangchang-nangchang, 2013 
image © designhouse

kengo kuma lab materials
the latest pavilion ‘ko chu’
image © designboom

kengo kuma lab materials
the latest pavilion ‘ko chu’
image © designboom

kengo kuma lab materials
drawing by kengo kuma for a new pavilion, 2017

kengo kuma lab materials
floating tea house, 2007
image © designboom

kengo kuma lab materials
floating tea house, 2007
image © kengo kuma & associates

kengo kuma lab materials
view into the exhibition
image © designboom

kengo kuma lab materials
view into the exhibition
image © designboom

kengo kuma lab materials
diagram of projects
image © designboom

kengo kuma lab materials
casa umbrella, 2007-2008
image © designboom

 

 

exhibition info:

 

name: kengo kuma: a lab for materials
dates: saturday, march 3 – sunday, may 6, 2018
organized by: tokyo station gallery (east japan railway culture foundation), kengo kuma & associates
co-sponsored by: taisei corporation, tanseisha co., ltd., haseko corporation, hazama ando corporation, itoki corporation, obayashi corporation, kajima corporation, kokuyo co., ltd., koshii & co., ltd., komatsu seiren co., ltd., jr east design corporation, shimizu corporation, sumitomo forestry co., ltd., central glass co., ltd., daiko electric co., ltd., dai nippon printing co., ltd., taiyo kogyo corporation, daiwa lease co., ltd., takenaka corporation, tokyu construction co., ltd., toto ltd., toda corporation, nice corporation, nomura co., ltd., fujisash co., ltd., bunka shutter co., ltd., maeda corporation, sumitomo mitsui construction co., ltd, lixil corporation
with the cooperation of: shinkenchiku-sha co., ltd.

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