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Kengo Kuma in good spirits

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Japanese architect Kengo Kuma is the second winner of the Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award, presented by the Finnish-based Wood in Culture Association. The aim of the award, says the association, is 'to support and internationally highlight a form of architecture in which timber has the central position', in order to 'increase respect for timber buildings and building components, and improve their quality'. The jury selected Kuma as the second recipient of the award (the first was Renzo Piano two years ago) because his works 'are characterised by a refined use of wood and a profound understanding of the nature of wood as a material. He has successfully combined new and traditional elements to produce architecture that is completely modern while still being sensitively and carefully adjusted to its existing surroundings'. Kuma was presented with his award at a ceremony in the Sibelius Hall, Lahti, Finland on 21 September.

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