Architectural Monographs : Kengo Kuma

Kuma was born in Kanagawa, Japan, and attended Eiko Gakuen junior and senior high schools. After completing a major in architecture at the University of Tokyo in 1979, he worked for a time at Nihon Sekkei and TODA Corporation. He then moved to New York for further studies at Columbia University as a visiting researcher from 1985 to 1986. In 1987, he founded the “Spatial Design Studio”. In 1990, “Kengo Kuma & Associates”, his own studio was established. During the 1998–1999 academic year, he was a visiting professor on the faculty of environmental information at Keio University. In 2008, Kuma earned his Ph.D. from Keio University, and he is currently a professor on the faculty of science and technology there, in the department of system design engineering. Kuma’s stated goal is to “recover the tradition of Japanese buildings” and to reinterpret it for the 21st century. In 1997, he won the Architectural Institute of Japan Award. Kengo Kuma is still designing architectural buildings with the inspiration of light and nature to achieve his goals such as the LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) Group’s Japan headquarters as well as one of the largest spas in the Caribbean for Mandarin Oriental Dellis Cay.

Selected works

M2 building (1989–1991)
Kiro-San observatory (1994)
Kitakami Canal Museum (1994)
Water/Glass, Atami (1995)
Stone Museum (2000)
Great (Bamboo) Wall House, Beijing (2002)
Plastic House (2002)
LVMH Group Japan headquarters (2003)
Lotus House (2003)
Suntory’s Tokyo office building
Kodan apartments (2005)
Water Block House (2007)
V&A at Dundee (2010)
Stone Roof (2010)
Sanlitun Soho, Beijing (2010)
Akagi Jinja and Park Court Kagurazaka (2010)


2011 The Misister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize for “Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum”
2010 Mainichi Art Award for “Nezu Museum”
2009 Decoration Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)
2008 LEAF Award (commercial category)
2008 Energy Performance + Architecture Award (France)Bois Magazine International Wood Architecture Award (France)
2002 Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award (Finland)
2001 Togo Murano Award for “Nakagawa-machi Bato Hiroshige Museum”
1997 Architectural Institute of Japan Award for “Noh Stage in the Forest” First Place, AIA DuPONT Benedictus Award for “Water/Glass” (USA)