Kawahara Krause
Between the abstract and the phenomenal
Hamburg, DE

Kawahara Krause is a Hamburg based German-Japanese architecture practice, founded in 2009. We discover their initial meeting in the Tokyo office of Shigeru Ban and how Ban’s architecture influences their approach to the practice in facing the challenge of balancing abstraction and phenomenology in architecture.

 

Early influence

We graduated in the same year from university – Tatsuya from Kyoto University and Ellen from ETH Zurich. We both worked for Shigeru Ban in his Tokyo office afterwards – an exciting time that had a strong effect on us: our first experience of working together and a very strong influence from Shigeru Ban’s design work on our approach to architecture.

 

Coming up with their own projects

Having recently moved to Hamburg, it was difficult to find direct commissions. So we decided to be proactive and created a project for ourselves: we organized an exhibition in Hamburger Architektur Sommer (Hamburg’s architecture triennial) where young architects could show their design approaches in a spatial installation. Our installation “Line, Surface, Space” was a simple structure made of ordinary strings that playfully questioned the threshold of space. Receiving the renowned Bauwelt Preis for the project, we got highly rewarded for our efforts.

 

Models filling up the studio

Moving from Tokyo to Hamburg we were lucky to find an atelier in an artists’ house. Being surrounded by artists from many different fields was a very inspiring setting for us. The airy loft space felt like a huge office for just the two of us, but soon became filled with models because we consider physical models of different scales to be an important tool for designing.

 

Balancing abstraction and phenomenology

We see it as a constant challenge to bridge between the abstract and the phenomenal aspects of architecture. For us, designing has rational aspects as much as personal, intuitive ones and also an associative part. Finding the balance between these notions to strengthen the concept and spatiality is our daily challenge. 

Screen Shot 2019 11 15 at 09.59.55

KAWAHARA KRAUSE ARCHITECTS studio 001 ARCHITECTS KAWAHARA KRAUSE

KAWAHARA KRAUSE ARCHITECTS studio 002 ARCHITECTS KAWAHARA KRAUSE

KAWAHARA KRAUSE ARCHITECTS studio 003 ARCHITECTS KAWAHARA KRAUSE

Photography Kawahara Krause






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