Designed by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the Alberni project is shaped by its environment. The 43-storey tower is carved by two emphatic scoops that form deep balconies furnished in wood. In both instances, the carvings create semi-enclosures that strengthen their relations to the street and the views, connecting to its urban and geographic context while optimizing neighbouring views past the project.
Because of the way the otherwise orthogonal tower is carved, its silhouette constantly changes, creating illusionary profiles of arching cantilevers. The reality is far more structured as the carved deductions are diagonally symmetrical, with the lower portion helping to counterbalance the hanging volume above.
The tower meets the ground with two intersecting domes that embrace Alberni and Cardero Street. Under the arching structures, an extensive moss garden defines the entrance and flows upwards to the swimming pool above. In keeping with Japanese spatial traditions, the emphasis is on the atmosphere rather than the object: without drawing attention to a particular point laden with meaning, the void elicits a serenely visceral experience that can be shared by all.
Alberni by Kengo Kuma includes intricate design details in woodwork throughout and within the interior design of the residential tower. The project’s amenities include a Fazioli piano designed by Kengo Kuma, an expansive moss garden, a beautifully-designed fitness centre, a 25-metre length swimming pool, a temperature-controlled wine room, and a Kaiseki restaurant, inspired by the Michelin-starred restaurant, Waketokuyama, in Tokyo.
You could say that my aim is 'to recover the place'.
The place is a result of nature and time; this is the most important aspect.
I think my architecture is some kind of frame of nature.
With it, we can experience nature more deeply and more intimately.
Transparency is a characteristic of Japanese architecture;
I try to use light and natural materials to get a new kind of transparency.
— Kengo Kuma
The entrance to Alberni by Kengo Kuma opens onto a landscaped amphitheatre and Japanese moss garden, serves as a semi-enclosed outdoor performance space. A verdant bamboo forest lines the entrance to the moss garden, softening the edges of the building.
The Teahouse by Kengo Kuma
It is said that to understand the essence of Japanese aesthetics, one must first understand tea. The teahouse is a vivid manifestation of layer upon layer of detail and design that has gone into Alberni by Kengo Kuma. True to Kuma-san’s philosophy, the themes of nature, lightness, and transparency present themselves in every facet, always yielding new details upon closer inspection. In many ways, the Teahouse is a means of sharing the essence of Alberni by Kengo Kuma — through an experience that cannot be expressed in words or images. In its beauty and quality, it is a metaphor for what we are trying to achieve. The Teahouse was completed in 2017 and is located on the terrace of an apartment at Shaw Tower.
Fazioli Piano by Kengo Kuma
Alberni by Kengo Kuma strives to create a new high-rise experience by introducing a soft and intimate idiom particular to Japanese space. Kengo Kuma thought of how the piano could evoke the same feelings by layering sheets of Hinoki wood, a spiritual material in Japan used for building temples and carving the piano in a similar manner as the tower. He arrived at something light, textured, and warm. Its hallowed formations imply an almost geological, timeless character.
A Rock Divided by Henrik Håkansson
This artwork by Swedish artist Henrik Håkansson features a 6,000 lb granite boulder sewn into quarters and suspended between two intersecting sheets of tempered glass. Installed amidst the bamboo forest, the artwork creates a surprising, even startling tension between the rock’s immense mass and the delicacy of its new-found sculptural frame.