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Bamboo Ring, or ‘Take-wa’, is an experiment in the concept of weaving, as explored by Kengo Kuma.
Japanese architect Kuma (founder of Kengo Kuma & Associates) has most recently designed the V&A Dundee, his first building in the UK, as well as the New National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics along with Taisei Corporation and Azusa Sekkei.
Inspired by the John Madejski Garden and curated by Clare Farrow, the doughnut-shaped structure – like a nest or cocoon – has been created by weaving rings of bamboo and carbon fibre together. For Kuma, working with Ejiri Structural Engineers and the Kengo Kuma Laboratory at The University of Tokyo, the installation is an exploration of pliancy, precision, lightness and strength: by pulling two ends, it naturally de-forms and half of the woven structure is lifted into the air.
Bamboo has been used traditionally in Japanese architecture in part due to its linearity and flexibility, and as a symbol of strength and rapid growth. The basic component of the structure – a 2m-diameter ring – is made from strips of the bamboo Phyllostachys edulis. By combining carbon fibre, a contemporary material, with the traditional material of bamboo and laminating each ring, the resulting effect achieves a certain rigidity while maintaining the unique material properties and beauty of bamboo – a remarkable, sustainable material that resonates with Kuma’s childhood memories and looks into the future of architecture.
Bamboo Ring, or ‘Take-wa’, is intended to be a catalyst for weaving people and place together.
In Partnership with OPPO.
Design Team (Kuma Lab): Kengo Kuma, Toshiki Hirano, Kohyoh Yang, Hiroki Awaji, Tomohisa Kawase
Fabrication Team at Komatsu Matere premises in Japan: Alexander Mladenov, Cristina Mordeglia, Luciana Tenorio, Simone Parola, Sarah Wellesley, Valentin Rodriguez de las Cuevas