Patterns and Layering

Japanese Spatial Culture, Nature and Architecture

Lightness and transparency in contemporary Japanese architecture explored and explained by Kengo Kuma Laboratory. In Japanese art and textile printing, the use of patterns has a long tradition. In Japanese architecture, layering is an established technique that has already inspired the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe. Now, the laboratory of world famous architect Kengo Kuma has developed a technically sophisticated methodology that unites patterns and layering in a single structural concept for the first time.

Patterns and Layering presents innovative structures that are created by stacking fragile, patterned layers. Although each individual layer contains a variety of patterns, it nevertheless still completely fulfills its structural responsibilities. The results are strikingly delicate, yet remarkably stable.

The book’s detailed texts explain how layering and patterns function as spatial tools with which one can create extraordinary structures that are able to coexist in harmony with nature, people, and culture. Patterns and Layering not only explores historical contexts and developments, but also shows cutting-edge experiments that were realized under the supervision of Kengo Kuma and his colleague Yusuke Obuchi. According to Kuma, this book “has the potential to begin a new architectural and design revolution.”

Download here an extract: Patterns and Layering


  • Patterns and Layering: Japanese Spatial Culture, Nature and Architecture


  • Kengo Kuma, Salvator-John A. Liotta, Matteo Belfiore


  • Gestalten, 2012


  • 3899554612, 9783899554618


  • 175 pages