Moriyama Library from Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma has a very different approach to architecture. His buildings display a direct connect to the place, the people and the vernacular of the area.

Kengo Kuma explains his firms’ Kengo Kuma and Associates design process, he says, “We try to create harmony with the environment, but we have some methods that we have always used. One is to use local materials, materials that we use are basically coming from the place around the site. For some projects, we use wood from the forest behind the site or use the ceramic tiles available from a small factory nearby. By using that kind of indigenous material, we enhance the conversation of the building with the place. Another method is to find the appropriate size for the project. The scale of the building is critical for the harmony between the environment and the building.”
In this library project, he has designed a street-type library open to the community and one that is open to the public.

“Around the central area of the street, small volumes like a house in harmony with the city were arranged. The streets of Moriyama town continued to the streets in the library, trying to make the library part of the city’s life. This street is covered with cedar, which is produced in the region, and you can meet books and people as you take a walk through this forest, and learn on the sunny days,” he says.
The building seems to merge with the surrounding nature as if inviting the people of the city to walk inside and then explore the world of books. The interiors are clad in the same wood as the surrounding, and there is a spread of large spaces with shelves lining the periphery.
In a contemporary society, architects should work with the community believes Kengo Kuma and all his buildings, like the waterfront Cultural Centre in Copenhagen located in paper island, where the design aims to highlight the significance of water in the history, culture and vibrant urban life in the city, should have a strong connect with the community and the surroundings.

Moriyama City, Shiga Prefecture

Area: 4168.5 m2

Library, food and beverage outlets, meeting rooms

Project Team: Kenji Miyahara Suzu Yu Masato Shiokawa, Yuzu Shishi, Yayoi Yamamoto ( CG )