Kengo Kuma’s Design for China Academy of Arts

By: | September 09 , 2021

A Folk Art Museum building, designed by renowned Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma is the latest addition to the China Academy of Arts grounds, ocated in Hangzhou, China. The place is very scenic with alluring green landscape of rolling hills and peaceful lakes. The new building’s low, distinct outline is nestled into the sloped site – formerly a tea field – and resembles a group of gently angled pitched roofs. The arrangement cascades downwards, referencing through its geometry and composition local vernacular and construction techniques.

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The architect was keen to ‘design a museum from which the ground below can be felt’, keeping the buildings low – they don’t exceed two storeys in height. The cascading roof system allows the building to cleverly mitigate the site’s irregularities, at the same time creating the appearance of a ‘village’, explain the architects. Kuma also worked with rich, local materials, such as cedar and reclaimed roof tiles used to cover old homes in the region, drawing even more parallels between his work and the area’s traditional architecture. A stainless wire mesh on the facade, both holds the tiles – which vary in size – together and creates a pleasant screen for the building, which filters light and shadow, and controls views. The complex’s generous museum display areas are complemented by state-of-the-art conference facilities, making the project’s total surface reaching almost 5,000 sq m.


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