As time goes on, many buildings are left abandoned, repurpose or rebuilt for modernized usage. However, Japan is known to be proud of their culture and historical past. Hence, they have multiple castles that were built in medieval Japan protected and became tourist spots. Compared to the best architecture firm in Malaysia, Japan’s architecture firms have structures that even stand out more than some of our most popular landmarks. So the question is, who are Japan’s best architecture firms?
In terms of uniqueness, Kengo Kuma and Associates is one of the most famous architecture firms in the world. Instead of the traditional concrete and metal, Kengo Kuma and Associates design structures through minimalism by using only wood. If they are using wood, how can their structure remain stable for years to come? Well, that’s what Kengo Kuma, the founder of his association, is determined for. He aspires to create structures with only wood to prevent the tradition of Japanese building from dying out. In 2010, he designed a bridge to literally bridge the gap between two buildings and it is known as the Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum. The planks of woods are stacked on top of each other and balancing the bridge with a giant wooden pillar at the center of the bridge. Through this structure, Kengo Kuma has proven that structures do not necessarily have to be created with concrete and nails to build and has aspired many architecture firms to follow his footsteps. Kengo Kuma and Associates later won an award for Architects of the Year in 2020 increasing their fame even further.
Despite its popularity, Kengo Kuma and Associates are not without their own competitors as well. Tadao Ando Architects and Associates is known for their famous structure of “burying” a Buddha statue by surrounding the statue with artificially elevated ground for a cemetery in Sapporo, Hokkaido. This became known as the Land of Buddha and has become one of the most popular attraction spots in Japan. Formerly well-known as a boxer, Tadao Ando was inspired by the concrete buildings that he saw on his trip to Europe which was designed by Le Corbusier, or Charles Eduoard Jeanneret. Ever since then, he dropped his career as a boxer and started his life as an architect to follow in Le Corbusier’s footsteps. Although he did not have proper education about designing architecture, he decided to teach himself and obtained the license through his sheer will and dedication. Today, he and his association are one of the most renowned Japanese architecture firms even throughout the world. When he encounters an old-building, he aims to not rebuild it, but to improve its surroundings as his policy is “You should respect old people, you should respect old buildings. But you should also look into the future.”
Although each country has their own unique takes and ideals on designing buildings, you can’t help but to appreciate the wonders of Japanese architecture as they have proven to beat the norms of construction even by today’s standards.
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