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Kengo Kuma completes work on snow-topped culture centre near Japanese Alps

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Kengo Kuma architects have unveiled their latest completed project: an angular wooden cultural centre near the Japanese Alps in snowy Nagano prefecture.

The project was commissioned to coincide with a new high-speed railway line connecting the small city of Iiyama to the Hokuriku region on Japan’s main island. Both openings have been planned to revive the city's economic prospects.

Kuma’s building is formed of three volumes: two events halls for performances and events and a community centre.

The three rooms are connected via an intimate interior passageway formed by a wooden and steel frame referencing the traditional ‘Gangi’ roof terraces used throughout Japan’s snow-covered regions.

Local materials such as Japanese larch, local timber, natural earth and washi paper created by Iiyama craftsman have been used for authenticity, and to ensure “an atmosphere that could not be felt in a typical publicly-funded facility, which can more often be described as a closed box.”

Kuma’s studio are currently working on a number of high-profile leisure projects, including a jungle-inspired museum in Manila, a stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, a home for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s forthcoming home in Dundee, and a civic hub in the heart of Sydney.

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Kengo Kuma architects have unveiled their latest completed project: an angular wooden cultural centre in the snowy region of Japan’s Nagano prefecture.
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