The Architect

  • The Architect

An expert panel selected the winning design by Japanese architects Kengo Kuma & Associates as the choice for V&A Dundee in 2010, following an international competition that received over 120 entries.

V&A Dundee will be Kuma’s first British building, and we have fully embraced his original vision. Considered by many as the quintessential Japanese architect of today, Kuma is also designing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium.

Kengo Kuma was born in 1954. He established Kengo Kuma & Associates in 1990 and went on to become Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Tokyo in 2009.

Kengo Kuma’s vision for V&A Dundee is that it will be a welcoming space for everyone to visit, enjoy and socialise in – a ‘living room for the city’ – and a way of reconnecting the city to its historic River Tay waterfront.

Among Kuma’s previous works are the impressive Kiro-San Observatory (1995), high on a mountaintop on Oshima Island; Water/Glass (1995), a spectacular villa with ocean views which received the American Institute of Architects’ Benedictus Award; Noh Stage in Forest (1997), a theatrical space in woodland outside the city of Toyama; and Bato Hiroshige Museum of Art (2000), dedicated to the works of woodblock print artist Hiroshige Ando, whose work greatly influenced the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Along with V&A Dundee, Kuma is involved in a number of large, ongoing projects, including arts centres in Besançon and Granada.

Kuma is also a prolific writer on contemporary architecture and has written several books, now translated for international audiences. Kuma was one of seven international architects profiled in 2014’s ground-breaking architectural exhibition Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. His site-specific installation, inspired by Ko-Do, a fascinating Japanese fragrance ceremony, received rave reviews and underlined his status as one of architecture’s most exciting and established stars.