Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kengo Kuma






















Anyone who read my Japan post will clearly have got the impression that I enjoyed the place. A lot. For someone living in a bit of a cultural desert, Japan was a real reminder of the importance of design and the process of really caring about something down to the last detail. Not that I've forgotten, but it's something that is easy to forget in the modern Chinese mentality of building big and fast.

Full of surprises and lots of great buildings beyond the guidebook, one nice little surprise on New Years Eve was this super cool Kengo Kuma designed Asakusa Town Hall. It's nice how in the process from model (image pilfered) to completion (image by me after a few Asahi), it really gained qualities rather than diluted down. I didn't even know it was a Kengo Kuma building until I got back here, but now it makes sense- timber slats, a quirky take on old meets new, and best of all with a public panoramic view of Tokyo on which to drink the sake you've snuck in using your pockets. Good times.