Kengo Kuma's New Tokyo National Stadium

Kengo Kuma's New Tokyo National Stadium
Kengo Kuma's New Tokyo National Stadium

The Japanese architect Kengo Kuma is one of the most relevant today in the world. And especially in his country,Japan, where he was even selected to screen the most emblematic work of what was going to be theTokyo 2020 Olympic Games. That is, the country's showcase for the entire planet. A contest in which his proposal was the winner despite the participation of all the great stars ofcontemporary architecture, such as a preliminary project submitted by Zaha Hadid.


Kengo Kuma Tokyo National Stadium

However, Kuma was the winner and in large part for proposing a great work inspired by the basic concepts that are in all of his works. That is, to capture the defense of nature through the creation of sustainable buildings. Something that on the other hand is intimately related to the architectural traditions of his country.

As in traditional architecture, it uses natural materials such as wood, bamboo or straw. Just as he is inspired by other more recent Japanese masters, in fact to close the circle of Olympism, he always says that his passion for architecture awoke as a primary school student who was taken to the Yoyogi National Gymnasium built by Kenzo Tange for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

The truth is that he watchesthe external structure of the New Tokyo National Stadium can be seen as Kuma always has nature as a reference. And it is that in a construction like this, of such dimensions, it seems that it is impossible to use materials such as wood or incorporate vegetation in its five heights. An aspect that contrasts with other structures dominated by metal and more modern materials such as the New Wembley in London or the Peking Nest.

Somehow, Kuma always tries that his buildings, whatever they are, do not compete with nature, but merge with it. This can be discovered in places as unique as the concept store Amanpure Retail Pavilion that he created in Pukhet (Thailand) or in the Folk Art Museum of the Chinese Academy of Fine Arts, where the construction to recreate the forms of a tea plantation.

Wood also dominates one of his last works, such as theOdunpazari Museum of Modern Art, in Turkey. And it is the hallmark of another of his emblematic works:The Exchange, inAustralia. It is a social center with different cultural and leisure spaces that has the shape of a tower, but a tower that looks like a spiral thanks to its curved façade created by 20,000 meters of Accoya wood strip, which is produced sustainably.

Popular topic