Material Immaterial: The New Work of Kengo Kuma

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9781568987798: Material Immaterial: The New Work of Kengo Kuma
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In our 2005 monograph Kengo Kuma: Selected Works, celebrated architect Kengo Kuma boldly declared that his ultimate aim was to "erase architecture" so that his buildings became one with their surroundings. In recent years he has pursued this goal by focusing primarily on imaginative and unexpected use of materials, creating hypnotizing surfaces that evoke subtle visual sensations by highlighting their materiality. Only by pushing a material to the limits of its capabilities does Kuma believe their true nature can be revealed. Ingenious and yet deceptively simple, this realization represented a major turning point in his desire to give his architecture a presence beyond the merely eye-catching or sculptural.

Material Immaterial: The New Work of Kengo Kuma presents more than thirty of the architect's recent works, including high-profile commissions such as the Suntory Museum in Tokyo and the Ondo Civic Center in Kure; the exquisite Lotus House in Zushi; large-scale urban developments like Sanlitun Village South in Beijing; as well as tea pavilions and installations that have exhibited in the United States, England, Italy, South Korea, China, Germany, and France, many of them never before published. The book also includes an extended essay on the evolution of the architects work, from the founding of Kengo Kuma and Associates in 1990 to the present. An accompanying exhibitthe first retrospective of the architect's work, also titled Material Immaterialdisplayed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in late 2008 and will travel to locales around the world over the next two years.

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About the Author:

Botond Bognar is the author of numerous books on contemporary Japanese architecture, including Kengo Kuma: Selected Works. He is currently a professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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"Material Immaterial: The New Work of Kengo Kuma presents more than thirty of the architect's recent works, including high-profile commissions such as the Suntory Museum in Tokyo and the Ondo Civic Center in Kure; the exquisite Lotus House in Zushi; large-scale urban developments like Sanlitun Village South in Beijing; as well as tea pavilions and installations that have exhibited in the United States, England, Italy, South Korea, China, Germany, and France, many of them never before published.

The book also includes an extended essay on the evolution of the architect s work, from the founding of Kengo Kuma and Associates in 1990 to the present." --Dexigner

"He [Kengo Kuma] will focus on one material on a particular project, but his explorations veer across the spectrum, from traditional woods and stones to innovative envelopes with different plastics. Botond Bognar, who authors the new monograph on Kuma with his son Balázs Bognár, uses materials as a way to group the architect's projects, finding strains within his work that arise from focusing on a particular material." --Archidose

"This is the second monograph on Kuma by Bognar in a stretch of only five years, a testament to the many fine buildings created in a short period of time." --Archidose

"Traces the evolution of Kengo Kuma, one of Japan's most promising emerging architects of the past decade, five years after his first published monograph by the same author. Where once Kuma sought to make buildings `disappear into the landscape', today he uses materiality in a more concerted effort to distinguish them. This is an inspiring look at an architect who appears to have been less influenced by 1990s austerity than many of his peers. Thirty-three projects in all are featured: from houses and public building to art installations." --Architecture Bulletin

"In this heavily illustrated, oversized volume (8.75x11), Bognar (architecture, U. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) describes 30 recent projects by the celebrated Japanese architect. Kuma seeks to dissolve walls and meld his buildings into their surroundings, using screens of bamboo poles, zigzag-cut stone, wood, and glass, and other effects. The projects include residential and commercial works, including the Asahi Broadcasting Corporation headquarters, the Food and Agriculture Museum in Tokyo, and other restaurants, museums, hotels, spas, and retail groupings. Each project is presented with plans, sections, and multiple interior and exterior views with a short description by Bognar, who also contributes an introductory essay on Kuma's theory and methods. The volume includes a selected bibliography and biographical notes and lists of awards. It is not indexed." --Book News, Inc.

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