Ginzan Onsen Fujiya (Hot spring hotel) by KENGO KUMA

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

my favourite architect works: KENGO KUMA

In reconfiguring a hundred-year-old onsen (hot spring hotel) in Japan’s snow country, architect Kengo Kuma raises such issues, grafting modern elements onto historic roots and giving traditional design strategies contemporary interpretations.

“We wanted to retain the continuity of the old facade while introducing a new spirit and modern amenities,” explains Kuma. To do so, the architect took apart the existing building, then reassembled it using old and new wood members.

He kept the original silhouette and traditional Japanese post-and-beam construction, but inserted larger, wood-framed windows and a new sliding glass entry wall.

“The idea was to connect the street with the lobby inside,” says Kuma. “So we established a new sense of transparency.”

Text and images from architecture record