Monday, December 14, 2009

Great (Bamboo) Wall by Kengo Kuma

Great (Bamboo) Wall

...our intention was to apply the nature of the Great Wall to the act of dwelling. This is why the house is titled 'WALL', instead of 'HOUSE'...
Great (Bamboo) Wall
Design Team: Kengo Kuma and Associates
Location: Beijing, China
Status: Completion April, 2002

Kengo Kuma's bamboo Wall in the countryside near Beijing is breathtaking. It manages to express the perfect synthesis between architecture and the land, between human intervention and the work of nature, with rare poetry.

It is a statement of feeling, of very great and very delicate sensitivity. It is a building that listens to the land around it, and this is the source of its beauty. The project is part of a wider-ranging programme implemented in 2002 with the participation of 10 Asia's best-known architects - including Yung-Ho Chang, Shigeru Ban and Gary Chang - for construction of ten villas each, creating a commune of one hundred dwellings in a forest adjacent to the Great Wall of China.

Great (Bamboo) Wall
Great (Bamboo) Wall
Great (Bamboo) Wall

Kengo Kuma says that he was inspired by the form of the Great Wall in this project. He explains that he was attracted by its route, by the way it runs almost endlessly along the ridgeline and establishes an indissoluble link with it. The Great Wall, built by human hands, has never been an isolated object. The formal quality of it running almost endlessly along the undulating ridgeline without being isolated from the surrounding environment.

The idea of integration, of fusion of architecture and land - which Kuma says is perfectly embodied by the Great Wall - guides the plan for the Great (Bamboo) Wall House: "(...) our intention was to apply the nature of the Great Wall to the act of dwelling. This is why the house is titled 'WALL', instead of 'HOUSE'".

As for the material, bamboo was used as much as possible, since it’s considered as having a significant meaning among Chinese and Japanese cultures. Depending on density of bamboo and its each diameter, it offers a variety of partitioning of space. Indoors, the material encloses the stairwell and living spaces to great effect. Positioned side by side at varying intervals, bamboo shoots seem to hover above the floor, creating breezy, floating partitions. The Eastern simplicity of the d├ęcor creates an ethereal, meditative atmosphere informed by subtle changes in the weather and landscape.

Kengo Kuma
Kengo Kuma
Kengo Kuma
Kengo Kuma

via Kengo Kuma

2 comments:

ppreston18 said...

I think it could use a little glass-- a humongous glass window or a stylish glass door. I would definitely pick one from http://www.sculpturalglassdoors.com/Entry-Door-Gallery to decorate the entire room

Anonymous said...

@ppreston18 it does have glass. All around the building and the atrium.