Kengo Kuma belongs to the generation of Japanese architects that has known to uphold a fully modern architecture without relinquishing tradition. A defender of local values in a globalized world, Kuma has centered his work on the quality of materials and on how these relate to place, firm as he is in the conviction that the impression given by a building depends on such factors and not so much on space or light. In his work the tectonic has priority over form, the latter being already implicit in the material. The result is a language that subtly combines traditional craft with highly sophisticated new techniques.
All of the foregoing is discussed in the book by means of twenty-five projects arranged by building materials and natural elements (waterglass, wood-grass-bamboo, stoneearth- ceramic), confirming Kuma’s reverential respect for techniques and their resonances with nature, for the relationship between material and place. The architect’s own voice accompanies the images and drawings of the different projects, through texts that sway between the descriptive and the poetic. Cloud and fog are some of the expressions he uses to explain his work and his intentions, always in reference to perceptions rather than to the purely visual. Hence the profusion of photographs and drawings that are focussed on details and the texture of materials. An extensive essay by Kenneth Frampton completes the volume.