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In Japanese art and textile printing, the use of patterns has a long tradition. In Japanese architecture, layering is an established technique that has already inspired the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe. Now, the laboratory of renowned architect Kengo Kuma has developed a technically sophisticated methodology that unites patterns and layering in a single structural concept for the first time.
The book Patterns and Layering presents innovative structures that are created by stacking fragile, patterned layers. Although each individual layer can contain a variety of patterns, it will nevertheless still completely fulfill its structural responsibilities. The results are strikingly delicate, yet remarkably stable.
The book’s detailed texts explain how layering and patterns function as spatial tools with which one can create extraordinary structures that are able to coexist in harmony with nature, people, and culture. Patterns and Layering not only explores historical contexts and developments, but also shows cutting-edge experiments that were realized with valuable input from Kengo Kuma and his colleague Yusuke Obuchi. According to Kuma, the book “has the potential to begin a new architectural and design revolution.”
Editors Salvator-John A. Liotta and Matteo Belfiore, as well as other contributors, worked closely with Kengo Kuma at his research laboratory at the University of Tokyo. Thanks to Kuma’s enthusiasm for the book as well as the inclusion of design details such as silkscreen prints and calligraphy, Patterns and Layering embodies the Japanese understanding of space, nature, and architecture—page for page, layer for layer.


Japanese Spatial Culture, Nature and Architecture

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Salvator-John Liotta, Matteo Belfiore

Foreword by Kengo Kuma

17 x 24 cm
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176 pages, full color, softcover
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Kengo Kuma Laboratory explores and documents a new lightness and transparency in contemporary Japanese architecture.

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According to renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, "this book aims to establish the interrelation between patterns and layering within architecture. These two previously detached notions can now be integrated into one methodology mediated by structural concepts. Patterns and Layering is the first book to introduce this new interrelationship, which has the potential to begin a new architectural and design revolution.”

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