02 November 2020

TAUD 2O2O special lecture 2: Meijo Toshiki, Kengo Kuma & Associates 

Some of the finest design produced by KKAA, famous for its excellence, bear signs of touch and quality of Mijo Toshiki, a KKAA architect of special talent and refined design sensibility. Associated with co+labo since its establishment, Meijo-san has, on a number of occasions, provided inputs to our activities, from guest lectures and involvement in design teaching, to joining co+labo symposia and parties. This year, he has also accepted to take part in the TAUD 2O2O Special Lecture series. In a brief summary of his lecture, Meijo-san explains how "boundaries always exist, in buildings or on larger, urban scale. Boundaries create multiple areas. Looking back at our work, we see how enthusiastic about creating such spaces we have always been. The theme of boundary was crucial to our two recently completed projects, in Tokyo and Minamisanriku. 

At the Meiji Jingu Museum (above), the key issues were integration of the new building in a hundred years old Jingu Forest, minimising the impact of our project on the forest full of memories which our predecessors have wisely created, and the creation of the territory that will exist next 100 year. The arrangement of trees in the forest, and various buildings in the inner garden form soft boundaries, creating a continuous interlocking of inside-outside spaces with the forest.

The main theme of the other project, the Minamisanriku Town Masterplan was 
creation of a new boundary to the area that was completely washed away by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Particularly important was the restoration of Nakahashi (left), a bridge which spans the Yawata River that runs through the centre of the town. This theme strongly defines the area which connects places beyond the boundaries of the river, and creates a new boundary. The bridge provides an unprecedented experience, a memorial space based on connection with the reconstructed park and two slabs that provide new movement opportunities to the town.

As an architect, I want to softly enclose spaces, and create a connected place. I feel that, by using the latest technology and incorporating historical character of the place its surroundings, the projects like Meiji Shrine Museum and Minamisanriku Nakahashi form a designed basis of good life." 


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