Kengo Kuma unveils plans for curved tower in Vancouver

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Kengo Kuma unveils plans for curved apartment tower in Vancouver

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has revealed plans for his first tall building in North America – a residential tower in Vancouver with a curved silhouette (+ slideshow).

Kengo Kuma's Alberni tower in Vancouver

Called Alberni by Kuma, the 43-storey apartment building will located in Vancouver's West End neighborhood. It will sit near the entrance to the 404-hectare Stanley Park, one of the largest city parks in the US and Canada.

Kengo Kuma's Alberni tower in Vancouver

"I have always wanted to have a project in Canada because of its closeness to nature," said Kuma, 61, who founded his eponymous Tokyo-based practice in 1990.

"Typologically, this is a large-scale project in North America, a dream for any foreign architect. We have done towers, but not to this scale and level of detail."

Kengo Kuma's Alberni tower in Vancouver

The distinctive tower features two concave sides, resulting in a curved form.

The design aims to convey a sense of connectivity and transparency through its materiality. The tower will be clad in anodised aluminium and glass, allowing it to reflect the sky and neighbouring buildings.

Kengo Kuma's Alberni tower in Vancouver

Renderings and models show a lattice-like wooden screen covering the concave portions of the tower.

At its base, the building will be surrounded by trees and moss – a reference to traditional Japanese gardens. Inside, it will feature ample use of wood, a material commonly used by the architect.

Kengo Kuma's Alberni tower in Vancouver

"The design celebrates the presence of nature in Vancouver," said Kuma.

"In this project, the minimal glazing details and the layered landscaping blur conventional boundaries to enhance the sense of continuity," he added.

Kengo Kuma's Alberni tower in Vancouver

The tower will contain 181 residential units with spacious patios, along with retail space and a restaurant.

The project is being backed by Westbank and Peterson, two leading developers of luxury buildings in Canada.

Kengo Kuma's Alberni tower in Vancouver

Kuma has a number of significant commissions now underway. He recently unveiled his plans for a cylindrical civic centre in Sydney and a fairy tale museum in the Danish city of Odense, and last December he was hired to design the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Completed works by Kuma include an arts centre in China on the site of a former cotton mill and a Chinese spa resort with pixellated stonework.