De­sign guru Kengo Kuma thinks of build­ings as or­ganic bod­ies—he dis­cusses the tec­tonic shift he sees in the ar­chi­tec­ture of the fu­ture

Singapore Tatler Homes - - STYLE -

Kengo Kuma be­lieves block­buster ar­chi­tec­ture has had its day. The Ja­panese ar­chi­tect, one of the most ac­claimed of our time, is con­vinced that huge skyscrap­ers and loom­ing con­crete com­plexes will be things of the past within a f ew years. “We’re en­ter­ing the era of per­son­alised ar­chi­tec­ture,” he de­clares. “The shift is al­ready hap­pen­ing. Peo­ple have a yearn­ing for softer, more hu­man-fo­cused shapes.” Such thoughts might sound ide­al­is­tic, but they un­der­pin the cor e of Kuma’s prac­tice: a pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with the indi vid­ual. The 63-year-old de­sign guru was in Hong Kong to give a talk at White­stone Gallery in H Queen’s, a gallery that spe­cialises in Ja­panese art and whose in­te­ri­ors he de­signed. Tall and dressed head to toe in black, he looks in­tim­i­dat­ingly stern when we meet. As he delves into the phi­los­o­phy of his work, how­ever, his whole de­meanour bright­ens. “I think of build­ings as hu­man bod­ies,” he says. “They need to have a soul of sorts and work as nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ments.”

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