In Tokyo, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has transformed a former book warehouse into ‘la kagu ‘– an event space in the city’s Kagurazaka district. A colossal staircase interspersed with trees winds up to the entrance of this former Tokyo warehouse that Kengo Kuma and Associates has converted into a lifestyle store and cafe.
La Kagu Retail Shop Technical Information
- Architects: Kengo Kuma| Kengo Kuma Bibliography & Profile
- Location: Tokyo, Japan
- Project year: 2014
- Program: Commercial & Offices / Retail
- Size: 962.45 m2
- Photographs: © Keishin Horikoshi
We opened the house toward the street, and connected its first floor using an organic-shaped wooden staircase, which expands just like earth. The stairs diverge in the middle, and one leads up to the second floor.
– Kengo Kuma Architects
La Kagu Retail Shop Photographs
© Keishin Horikoshi / SS Tokyo
Named La Kagu, the 960-square-meter building houses a fashion and homeware boutique, a bookstore, and a cafe. It was first constructed in the 1960s and was previously used as a storage facility for books.
Text by Kengo Kuma & Associates
Kagurazaka is one of the few districts in Tokyo that best retains historic townscape. The project consisted of the renovation of a big warehouse of books located on the top of Kagurazaka hill. We created a public space like a playground, together with a café and a retails space.
We opened the house toward the street and connected its first floor with the crossing using an organic-shaped wooden staircase, which expands just like earth. The stairs diverge in the middle, and one leads up to the second floor. We connected the town and the warehouse, the ground, and the architecture, the past and the present.
About Kengo Kuma
Kengo Kuma is a Japanese architect born in 1954 in Kanagawa, Japan. After completing his master’s studies in architecture at the University of Tokyo in 1979, he started working for a period at Nihon Sekkei and TODA Corporation. In 1987, he founded the Spatial Design Studio, and in 1990, his studio was established: Kengo Kuma & Associates.
Kuma’s stated goal is to “recover the tradition of Japanese buildings” and to reinterpret it for the 21st century. To achieve this goal, Kengo Kuma takes his inspiration from light and nature.