7 November 2018
According to Japanese-born, Sydney-based architect Koichi Takada “naturalizing architecture” is part of his role as an architect: “I feel the responsibility towards reversing the cycle of civilization and bringing nature back into architecture – we need to create breathing space.”
At ‘In Conversation’, an event run as part of the SCCI Architecture Hub in October, Koichi came together with internationally-renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma to discuss their approaches to naturalizing architecture. Exploring a series of their own projects, as well as the first collaboration between their firms in the form of The Mastery – a mixed-use, multi-residential development in Waterloo – they unpacked the process of integrating nature in their work. Ultimately, the conversation gave an insight into their shared values and the intersections of their careers – Koichi first met Kengo when he was studying in London and Kengo visited as one of nine young, promising architects from Japan.
The concept of naturalizing architecture is interpreted and realized in a variety of ways across both Kengo and Koichi’s designs. Kengo Kuma is celebrated for his intricate, carefully crafted buildings which often employ natural materials and traditional Japanese craftsmanship. His buildings frequently bear reference to traditional Japanese archetypes such as the torii (a traditional Japanese gate which commonly bridges the gap between nature and the city, or the mundane and the sacred) or engawa (the in-between space found in Japanese buildings which is neither interior nor exterior).
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