Kuma Kengo
Photo © J.C. Carbonne
Born 1954. Before establishing Kengo Kuma and Associates (KKAA) in 1990, he received his Master’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Tokyo, where he is currently a university professor and professor emeritus. Having been inspired by Tange Kenzo’s Yoyogi National Gymnasium, built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Kuma decided to pursue architecture at a young age, and later entered the Architecture program at the University of Tokyo, where he studied under Hara Hiroshi and Uchida Yoshichika. After his time as a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York, he established his office in Tokyo. Since then, KKAA has designed architectural works in over twenty countries and received prestigious awards, including the Architectural Institute of Japan Award, the Mainichi Art Award, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize, the Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award (Finland), and the International Stone Architecture Award (Italy), among others. KKAA aims to design architecture which naturally merges with its cultural and environmental surroundings, proposing gentle, human scaled buildings. The office is constantly in search of new materials to replace concrete and steel, and seeks a new approach for architecture in a post-industrial society.
Message to the people of Kochi
When I started my office, the economic bubble burst and other difficult times came around, and in Yusuhara, I was able to find what I would call the direction of my architecture. I am looking forward to holding an exhibition in Kochi Prefecture, a place that has helped me tremendously and is filled with memories.

Kuma Kengo