GC Prostho Museum Research Centre by Kengo Kuma 27.10.10

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Six thousand pieces of cypress wood make up Japanese architect Kengo Kuma's GC Prostho Museum Research Centre in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan.

The structure of the museum – which looks at the history of dentistry – was inspired by cidori, an old Japanese toy made of wooden sticks which comes from nearby Takayama City. Working with local craftsmen – who still make the toy with exceptional precision – and structural engineer Jun Sato, Kuma resized the original 12 x 12mm elements into 60 x 60mm units.

The result is an elegant three-dimensional lattice nine metres high. By using strong cypress wood, the lumber could be sculpted into new shapes while keeping the wooden elements as thin as possible – without requiring the use of bolts, glue or nails for the joints. Hence the building, which emphasises a handmade, local approach, looks like thousands of small cidori toys connected in a giant grid.

"Together with craftsmen, I want to entirely rethink the way materials are treated," says Kuma. "I want to forget about readymade details as much as possible, and instead deal with materials in new, different ways."



Daici Ano



Cathelijne Nuijsink

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Together with craftsmen, I want to entirely rethink the way materials are treated


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