The 61-year-old Tokyo based Japanese architect Kengo Kuma is famous for his layered architecture and for the studies on complex wooden patterns. His research however goes far beyond simple ornamentation. It appears to be fundamental for such notions as order, scale, proportion, balance, complexity and beauty that link tangible architecture to the intangible cultural values of the society.
Suggested reading: “Patterns and Layering Architecture. Japanese Spatial Culture, Nature and Architecture”
The eye-catching façade of the steel-framed Daiwa Ubiquitous Computing Research Center is clad with thin wooden planks resembling fish scales. The building’s three-story elevation evokes also omikuji (strips of paper predicting the future at Shinto shrines in Japan) that provide a dynamic and irregular image while being a traditional Japanese pattern composed of the succession of waves. The overall image of Kuma’s building therefore emerges as a vibrant and dynamic structure.
This dynamic effect is further increased by spacious cuts at the ground level. This opening frames lush greenery on the back of the building, and generates an organic flow of light, wind and people. The cave-like space functions as a small covered piazza that gathers people together, offering a great place to eat, chat or even to have a nap or read a book.
Related: Kengo Kuma unveils cocoon-like paper kitchen pavilion at Milan Design Week’s Fuorisalone 2015
To make things even more intriguing, Daiwa Ubiquitous Computing Research Building was designed with a traditional Japanese mud wall, a highly innovative structure that uses advanced technology to measure such environmental condition as temperature, humidity, wind speed, radiation, and many other ecological factors. These data read by the Kuma’s intelligent building are uploaded to a network and can be used for a variety of purposes in the so-called “Internet of Things.”
+ Kengo Kuma
Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat