The Waseda International House of Literature (The Haruki Murakami Library) | Kengo Kuma and Associates
©Kawasumi・Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office

Japan 2021The Waseda International House of Literature (The Haruki Murakami Library)

Educational | Gallery/Museum
5F / 1BF

We renovated the Waseda University Campus Building #4 into the new Haruki Murakami Library as a “wooden tunnel” that penetrates through the existing building. The wooden tunnel transcends time and space, as we translated the “tunnels” in Murakami’s novels that connect different dimensions into architectural space.

We neutralized the original building by repainting the exterior walls white, adding emphasis to the addition of the three-dimensional wooden screen canopy. The canopy serves as an indication to the entrance of the tunnel, a representation of the boundary between dimensions. The wooden tunnel, which is created as a vertical cut through the existing slab, serves simultaneously as a bookshelf, theatre, and lecture hall.

The 20th century was dominated by concrete, which has qualities that are “hard” and “cold.” In contrast, for this library we imagined a tunnel that protects us and cultivates dreams, by using wood which is delicate and soft.

Team Keita Watanabe, Yu Watabe Cooperation Kanebako Structural Engineers Facility Kankyo Engineering Accumulation Futaba Quantity Surveyors Exterior PLACEMEDIA, Landscape Architects Collaborative Publication Brutus 2022/02/15 No.955 , Shinkenchiku 2022/01 , GA JAPAN 174 , Brutus 2021/10/15 No.948 , Brutus 2021/11/01 No.949 , Casa BRUTUS 2021/11 vol.259 Photography ©︎ Kawasumi-Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office