KKAA Newsletter #29 (July 2, 2022) See in English 日本語で見る

#29 March 16, 2020

The HASEKO KUMA HALL has come into being in building number 11 at the School of Engineering of The University of Tokyo. A donation was received from Haseko Corporation for the complete renovation of the existing lecture hall and lounge, and we were in charge of the design.


Our objective was to create an active lecture hall that is open to both the campus and community by utilizing its location which is nearest to the main gate. A large display screen was provided in the lounge that is integral with the ceiling surface, and the lecture hall can be connected with the lounge, making the hall suitable for an “open university”. The term “wooden birdhouse” was used as the concept to integrate both the lecture hall and the lounge, and the results of cutting-edge research by the School of Engineering of The University of Tokyo are displayed in the “birdhouse” in the foyer, making this building a museum as well as a lecture hall, and achieving a moderate level of composite functions that are found in a learning commons.


The motif of a “wood box” was also used for the design of the café called “U-gohan” (Dinner) that faces the second floor of the lounge. This design facilitates interlocking with three-dimensional events, including events where people eat and drink to enhance communication. It is our sincere hope that the HASEKO KUMA HALL be used in the future as a facility to promote education and exchange related to architecture, and that many unexpected uses emerge.


The “U-gohan” café is operated by “YuuYuu”, a social welfare corporation from Tobetsu town in Hokkaido. I saw their farm when I visited Tobetsu recently, and was very impressed by the lively expressions of the people that work there as well as by the freshness of the produce. “U-gohan” café is open from 8:00 a.m. in the morning to 9:00 p.m. in the evening (10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays). In addition to serving delicious breakfasts and lunches, it also welcomes guests other than students and faculty, and has high-quality wine. We hope that you will drop by to try out the delicious ingredients from Hokkaido and experience the ambiance of the space created through the use of wood.


I came back to Tokyo late at night from Tobetsu that was in the middle of a snowstorm with the strong feeling that the HASEKO KUMA HALL will not only become a node for education and creativity, but will also help to enhance the welfare of the people who utilize the facility.

Kengo Kuma © Onebeat Breakzenya

ProjectsMeiji Jingu MuseumThe museum is located on the approach to the main shrine of Meiji Jingu, one of the most famous shrines in Japan. The museum not only displays art and treasures preserved in the shrine but also explains the history of the shrine buildings and the large for … Read More
ProjectsEndo Sushi RestaurantWe designed a unique sushi bar in the cylindrical penthouse of the former headquarters of the BBC. Guests here can enjoy a panoramic view of London. To symbolize this unique space, we took a hint from a brush stroke of calligraphy and created a Hinoki coun … Read More
ProjectsGyeongju International Expo Memorial HallThis pavilion for the Gyeongju EXPO is designed as an intermediate form, between ground and architecture. We wanted to develop the idea of ‘connection’ between ground and architecture will continue to be used after the Expo, thus it must bear an enduring p … Read More
Projects21_21 Design Sight Exhibition “Secret Source of Inspiration: Designers’ Hidden Sketches and Mockups”Tokyo, Japan 2019.11-2020.05 Exhibition At the exhibition “Secret Source of Inspiration”, we presented our design process through two projects, using a series of study models and mockups. The first, Takanawa Gateway station, where we thoroughly studied the … Read More
ProjectsKithul-AmiKKAA was asked to design a pavilion for the centenary celebration of Sri Lankan architect Geoffery Bawa’s birth. By using a local vine called Kithul, often used in Sri Lankan traditional craft, we tried to achieve the softness of Bawa’s architecture and sh … Read More
ProjectsBamboo Ring“Take-wa, Bamboo Ring” is the pavilion built for London Design Festival. Using the new composite material made by bamboo and carbon fiber, we designed a donut shaped structure with its one end lifted up in the air. The whole structure consists of 120 of 1. … Read More