Technology and nature make unlikely partners in Kengo Kuma’s latest project – a university campus building used for the research on ubiquitous computing.
Kengo Kuma returns to his love of wood in his latest project – the Daiwa Ubiquitous Computing Research Building in Tokyo, Japan.
According to the studio, “the aim was to break away from the conventional image of campuses that consist of hard materials such as concrete, metal or stone, and to instead design a soft building made with wood and earth”.
No doubt another compelling reason was the stark contrast drawn between the building’s technological focus and the soft, nature-inspired structure used to house its work.
In this project, scale-like panels made of wood as well as earth gently undulate to form a smooth and organic facade.
At the centre of the building is an organ-like aperture covered with soft membrane. It joins the lane in front of the campus and the Japanese garden (part of the university president’s guest house) at the back. The opening also serves to generate a gentle and organic flow of light and wind into the campus, which is otherwise dominated by a strict grid arrangement.
Photos © SS Tokyo unless otherwise stated