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PARKHOTEL MONDSCHEIN

A Rich Cultural History Combined with a Refined Design Aesthetic at this Modern Luxe Hotel

FUFU KYOTO

An Intimate Luxury Hotel that Entwines Traditional Japanese Dining, Architecture and Hospitality with Modern Elegance

JACQUEMUS PARIS

A Pure Interior Led By Playfulness and Surprise

The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre

The Charred-Brick 'Black Box' Presenting The Beauty Of Theatre & Performance

GAIA

British Artist Luke Jerram’s Explores The Vastness of Our Earth

Honouring ISSEY MIYAKE

The Legacy Remains: Merging Art & Fashion, East & West, Tradition & Technical Innovation

UNITED PLACES BOTANIC GARDENS

Local and Luxurious, A Melbourne Boutique Hotel That Gets It Right

Naoshima Ryokan ROKA

Designed by Okayama-based studio Nottuo, a New Modern Stay on Japan’s ‘Art Island’

Restaurang ÄNG

NORM Architects Creates A Light-Filled Glasshouse For The Michelin-Starred Restaurant

JAPANESE CRAFTSMANSHIP: BAMBOO WEAVING

In The Quiet Backstreets Of Kyoto's South Higashiya, Find A Master Craftsman

HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE SS23

As Ever, The Joy Of Movement & Ease of Pleats Prevails

Serpentine Pavilion 2022

Artist Theaster Gates Designs the 21st Pavilion

BRUT-AL

Argentinian-Australian Designer Alexander Lotersztain's Ode to Brutalism

Serpentine Pavilions 2000-2021

A Champ Online Retrospective Of Two Decades of The Radical Architectural Event

PURE FORM

The Art Gallery of South Australia Presents Japan's Avant-Garde Ceramics

KABIRA & KANGRI

The Beauty Of Indian Textile Craftsmanship In ISSEY MIYAKE Sub-Brand HaaT's SS22 Collection

BOTANICAL PAVILION

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma & Australian Artist Geoff Nees Create An Interlocking Timber Portal for NGV Triennale

January, 2021
Botanical Pavilion, 2020, by Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma and Australian artist Geoff Nees © Ben Hosking

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma‘s work can be easily indentified through his timber fragmentation frequented in his structures or facades found across the world. Here in Melbourne for the National Gallery Victoria’s Triennale, the renowned Japanese architect partners with Australian artist Geoff Nees to create a circular, tunnel-like structure titled; Botanical Pavilion, 2020. The impressive structure references traditional Japanese wooden architecture, and is comprised of interlocking timber joinery akin to puzzle pieces and known as tsugite, with a complex simplicity that relies on tension and gravity.

Kuma’s architecture is inherently environmentally and socially conscious, such as his National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo (2020) that utilised timber from Japan’s north to south prefectures in its design. For Botanical Pavilion, Kuma utilised various timber collected from fallen or discarded trees during the Millennium Drought (1996–2010) in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens. Furthermore, the structure reflects the diversity of the Garden’s plant species: “Some of the trees used within predate European colonisation, while others signal the evolution of the gardens as a site of scientific research and botanical classification. Importantly, the botanical species used for Botanical Pavilion are colour coded, rather than following any taxonomic order. By prioritising natural phenomena over scientific order, the designers call into question the reductive nature of science during the colonial era – a mindset at odds with many Indigenous cultural beliefs and knowledge systems.”

Another familiar design element found in the structure is it’s ryoji-like walkway, designed to create a moment of cleansing contemplation before reaching the destination. Originating from the pathway to a Japanese chaya teahouse, this concept can also be found in Kuma’s entrance design at Nezu Museum in Tokyo. Yet here at NGV, his walkway is the perfectly poignant portal to South Korean artist Lee Ufan’s painting Dialogue, 2017.

Botanical Pavilion, 2020, by Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma and Australian artist Geoff Nees © Ben Hosking
Botanical Pavilion, 2020, by Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma and Australian artist Geoff Nees © Ben Hosking
Botanical Pavilion, 2020, by Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma and Australian artist Geoff Nees © Ben Hosking
Botanical Pavilion, 2020, by Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma and Australian artist Geoff Nees © Ben Hosking
Botanical Pavilion, 2020, by Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma and Australian artist Geoff Nees © Ben Hosking
Botanical Pavilion, 2020, by Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma and Australian artist Geoff Nees © Ben Hosking
Botanical Pavilion, 2020, by Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma and Australian artist Geoff Nees © Ben Hosking
Botanical Pavilion (2020) acts as a architectural walkway or entry point to Lee Ufan's painting 'Dialogue' (2017) © Ben Hosking
January, 2021