Kengo Kuma

Japan’s modest blockbuster architect.

Issue 32

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Design

Kengo Kuma has a one-track mind. He designs architecture. He writes about architecture. He even thinks about architecture while soaking in the bath at his favorite hot spring. “There I can study the relationship between interior and exterior,” says the designer earnestly. But these days Kuma doesn’t have much time to kick back. His Hans Christian Andersen Museum is underway in Odense, Denmark, his V&A Dundee launched last year and his expansion of the Portland Japanese Garden finished in 2017. Not to mention the 2020 Olympic Stadium. Just blocks from his central Tokyo office, the arena is poised to open in November 2019. With projects popping up on multiple continents, Kuma is gently—but very definitely—making his mark around the globe.

What led you to become an architect?
In ...

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