nest of wisdom

Located inside the Faculty of Engineering Building 11 (built in 1969) designed by a former the University of Tokyo professor, Yasumi Yoshitake, I have created a new renovated space designated as “Nest of Wisdom,” assembled with wooden boxes.

I designed to install a total of 76 wooden boxes in the double story lounge and hall area on the first second floors. Just as though a “bird’s nest” is a place where multiple birds are fostered and nurtured, I envisioned that this new lounge and hall space, “Chie no Subako/Nest of Wisdom” would foster, nurture and cultivate the development of various “wisdoms.” Thus, I imagined the new lounge and hall space is induced by the infusion of wooden boxes to transform conceptually into a “forest.”

Disposed in the lounge space are 41 wooden boxes. Manifold ideas are on display in each of the boxes that exhibits, collectively, diverse “wisdoms” emanated in the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Tokyo. In this “forest” studded with the wooden boxes, various visual images as well as audio sounds are projected and played.

The addition of visual images and audio sounds stimulates the “forest” to compose a space for diverse experiences. The lounge as a free “forest” then offers a space that doubly functions as a “Learning Commons” as well as a “Mini Theater.” Moreover, I also designed pieces of flexible “smart furniture” for the “forest” that would accommodate multiple usages in the space.

With the 32 wooden boxes suspended from its ceiling in the hall space, the hall hence would turn into a human and functional “forest” in a metamorphosis. People would come and gather in this “forest” that serves as the “nest” where a myriad “wisdom” are born, and thus, connect with society.

  • Photo (c) J.C. Carbonne

KUMA Kengo

Kengo Kuma was born in 1954. Before establishing Kengo Kuma & Associates in 1990, he received his Master’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Tokyo, where he is currently a Professor of Architecture. Having been inspired by Kenzo Tange’s Yoyogi National Gymnasium, built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Kengo Kuma decided to pursue architecture at a young age, and later entered the Architecture program at the University of Tokyo, where he studied under Hiroshi Hara and Yoshichika Uchida. During his Graduate studies, he made a research trip across the Sahara, exploring various villages and settlements, observing a unique power and beauty. After his time as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University in New York, he established his office in Tokyo. Since then, Kengo Kuma & Associates has designed architectural works in over twenty countries and received prestigious awards, including the Architectural Institute of Japan Award, the Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award (Finland), and the International Stone Architecture Award (Italy), among others. Kengo Kuma & Associates aims to design architecture which naturally merges with its cultural and environmental surroundings, proposing gentle, human scaled buildings. The office is constantly in search of new materials to replace concrete and steel, and seeks a new approach for architecture in a post-industrial society.

Photo (c) J.C. Carbonne