Koichi Takada, founder of one Australia’s leading architecture firms, Koichi Takada Architects, will be a keynote speaker at this year’s Urbanity conference.
The 49-year-old architect belongs to a new generation of designers striving to “bring nature back” into the built environment—an approach he has matured throughout his career and after living in major cities such as Tokyo, New York and London.
Born in Tokyo, at 16 he dreamed of living in Manhattan as a fashion designer or an artist.
Having experienced Eastern culture from his upbringing in Japan, his interest in the built environment led him to the West, studying at City University of New York from 1990 to 1993, before obtaining his degree in architecture from the Architectural Association in London in 1996.
It is at the Architectural Association that Koichi Takada came into contact with the elite of contemporary architecture.
After working for well-known practices in Japan, Takada moved to Sydney and founded his own studio in 2008.
“I see architecture as being very similar to nature,” Takada said.
“As architecture can greatly contribute to the making of healthier and sustainable places, our role has never seemed so relevant in light of the challenges that face us today.”
In the eleven years since forming, Takada has been busy. His Surry Hills studio has grown to about 50 staff and completed luxury residential and commercial buildings in Sydney and Melbourne.
The eponymous Australian-based firm has has also secured various awards across projects that have transformed urban landscapes domestically as well as in Asia, America and the Middle East.
Each project the firm undertakes embodies Takada’s commitment to organic form as a way of allowing nature to mitigate the harshness of the urban experience.
In 2010, Takada was invited by developers to design the interiors of the east tower of the One Central Park complex in Sydney. The overall project, with architecture by Jean Nouvel, was designed to surpass the Australian Green Star system of standards for sustainable residential construction.
Shortly thereafter, Koichi Takada moved on to the interior spaces in another Jean Nouvel building, the National Museum of Qatar. Using a sophisticated study of the allotted space, Takada employed a vast number of unique CNC-milled wood forms to create the museum’s gift shop.
Takada has gone on to design many impressive buildings in Australia, as well as in Los Angeles, Shanghai and Tokyo.
Current projects include Forme’s recently complete boutique apartment block, Norfolk, in Burleigh Heads and Aria Property Group’s Urban Forest in Brisbane, a 20-storey mixed-use residential high rise with the ambition to be the world’s greenest residential building, targeting a 6-star Green Star rating.
“Great visions plant the seeds that help young minds grow and shape the next generations. Now, it is up to our generation to show courage and put a great vision into practice,” Takada said.
“Actions speak louder than words. By doing so, empowering the next generation that follows us.”
Takada, a true force within global architecture, will join Urbanity 22, being staged on August 3-5 at The Star on the Gold Coast, for an in-depth conversation about his approach to design and the projects that are defining his firm’s legacy.
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