We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce honorable mention winners of our Triple Bridge Waterfront competition: Kohki Hiranuma from Japan!

Please tell us about your company (when it was founded, where it is based, how many employees, etc) Alternatively, if you do not have a company, please give us some insights on your own professional/academia background.

Born in Osaka (Japan), in 1971. Kohki Hiranuma Architect & Associates was established in ‘99, after attending AA School in London. His representative works include “The University of Tokyo Space Lab” - an environmental architecture developed using sustainable timber (from thinning) that was set inside the Komaba Campus of The University of Tokyo, and "D&DEPARTMENT PROJECT" - a conversion project to explore the way how to sustain long life design / recycle store through creating a new value on the architecture that exist in the area. He has received many awards, such as Grand Design International Architecture Award (England), German Design Award (Germany), Innovative Architecture International Building Award (Italy), and Wood Architecture Award (North America). He held his own exhibition in National Museum of Art, Osaka (Japan), and His participation was remarkable in Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition held last year. Currently, He teaches at Osaka University, at the same time He leads a Non-Profit Organization / Art & Architect Festa (NPO/AAF).

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of architect in your society?

Architecture means a lot to the modern society. We believe that architects have power to lead the society as their profession can strongly influence our living environment, as well as the community, or even one’s behavior. For this reason, we value the process of cre- ation as we take a closer look. We have aimed to design spaces through modifying our own identity depending on the context of the place. The society seeks architects who could predict social trend, thus our design approach have consistent philosophy and pure passion in making architecture.

We are motivated to join the competition for the beauty of the landscape of Liepaja Canal. We were inspired by having an image of undulated roof reflecting the gentle waves of the canal, while having continuous space under the roof. We are attracted in discovering the nature of this site, its environment and location. Then, we thought on pur- suing the study on how to preserve the nature and historic environment along with the architecture and its neighborhood while recognizing its existence.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide competitions?

They can challenge their minds to exert ideas in different locations, language and situa- tions. Joining a competition gives opportunity to study the project experimentally where each can enhance their imagination and design solution or approach.

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