Scaling down from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has teamed up with forest conservation organization More Trees to create a set of triangular-shaped wooden building blocks. The stackable kit of parts is made of Japanese cedar wood, and has been described as the Japanese version of Lego. The minimalist design of each block, known as tsumiki, or “wooden blocks” in Japanese, allows for countless different configurations and arrangements. The pieces can be easily disassembled and restacked. People of all ages were able to enjoy Kuma’s creations at Tokyo Design Week last November, where Kengo Kuma & Associates formed a pavilion made up of giant-sized tsumiki pieces in a central Tokyo park. “I have loved tsumiki my whole life, every since I was a young boy. And my dream came true, I designed tsumiki myself, the sort which hadn’t existed before,” said Kuma in a statement. “The set is not a heavy, masonry kind of wood block, but a light, transparent system just like what you see in traditional Japanese architecture.” The individual wooden pieces are reminiscent of the pavilion that Kuma designed in Paris’ Jardin des Tuileries, which is made of a complex lattice of identical stacked timber beams. Kuma is known for his explorations of timber construction, and has employed woodworking in a number of projects including the Daiwa Ubiquitous Computing Research Building and the Sunny Hills retail store. Kuma’s building block set is available in three different sizes: a 7-piece set, a 13-piece set, and a 22-piece set.
Posts tagged with "kengo kuma designs":
The acclaimed architectural firm that once decked the walls of a Tokyo Yakitori bar with LAN cables recently completed designs for the latest retail outlet of Shang Xia, a Chinese culture–inspired offshoot of the renowned Hérmes fashion brand. Touted as “a space combining retail, culture and the arts,” the Shanghai-based space is an expanse of natural wood and sandstone housed in an unassuming red-brick French villa. The interior walls sport a plastic-meets-cloth veneer that has been tri-axially folded into honeycomb-like indentations. Heat-treated and shaped in Japan, the material has the shape-memory texture and strength of plastic and the softness of natural cloth. Founded by designer Jiang Qiong Er, the brand is dedicated to the art of living as embodied by Chinese heritage and craftsmanship, retailing fine decorative objects, sculptural furniture, luxurious garments and rare accessories. Guided by a 21st-century Asian aesthetic, the elegant, 1,356-square-foot retail space is fronted by a pixelated all-glass veneer facing the thrumming streets of Xintiandi, near Shanghai’s commercial center. The work of famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the outlet includes exhibition space for arts and culture. The architect also previously designed Shiang Xia’s outlets in Beijing and Paris, the latter resplendent with a lattice of over 10,000 glistening tiles extending into a layered ceiling installation. Meanwhile, the Beijing store contained latticed partitions of extended aluminium, which evoked a brickwork skeleton.