NHK WORLD-JAPAN Explores Kengo Kuma’s Artichoke Principles in the Daiwa Ubiquitous Computing Research Building at the University of Tokyo

The Kengo Kuma Monologue: 4. Daiwa Ubiquitous Computing Research Building at the University of Tokyo is a structure where Kengo Kuma’s architectural principles of “voids and particles” are implemented to integrate natural materials, specifically wood, into the design. Kuma’s vision creates a seamless flow from the campus’s main street to its back garden, utilizing wooden panels on the ceiling to guide this transition. The building’s east facade features a randomized arrangement of wooden panels to soften its appearance, while the back facade harmonizes with a traditional Japanese garden. Interior design elements, such as a tilted corridor column and a main staircase separated by steel mesh, complement the building’s affinity with nature.

  • The Daiwa Ubiquitous Computing Research Building at the University of Tokyo showcases Kengo Kuma’s design principles.
  • Natural materials, prominently wood, are used to bridge the building with its environment.
  • A semi-outdoor hall connects the campus’s main street with the back garden, with wooden ceiling panels directing the flow.
  • The east facade features four types of wooden panels placed randomly to create an organic texture.
  • Each wooden plank on the facade varies in dimension and pitch, contributing to the building’s unique aesthetic.
  • The back facade is designed to complement a Japanese garden, using a special screen mesh with powdered clay for warmth.
  • Interior elements like the tilted column in the corridor and the main staircase with steel mesh add to the building’s character.
  • The lecture theater is lined with large veneer and features a zigzag shape to enhance lighting effects.

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