Kengo Kuma: Architecture for Our Time
17. May 2021
Rendering of Hans Christian Andersen’s House of Fairy Tales in Odense, Denmark. (Photo: Screenshot)
The latest film from the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art features an interview with Kengo Kuma in his Tokyo office. Filmed in May 2020, the interviews features numerous in-progress international projects by the prolific architect as well as his thoughts on what architecture should address after the coronavirus pandemic.
Born in 1954, Kuma recounts how his childhood home — small, made of wood, built in the 1940s — had an influence on the future, as did experiencing the gymnasium Kenzo Tange designed for the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. More than fifty years later, Kuma's most important commission is the Japan National Stadium, completed last year for the delayed Summer Olympics that will open in Tokyo on July 23. The stadium, like many other recent projects designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates, is made from wood. Kuma devotes part of the interview to explaining the importance of choosing materials that are "in harmony with nature," as evidenced in the stadium as well as in the designs for the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Denmark and a number of literature-related projects recently completed and underway in Japan.