Moriko Kira
architect and director moriko kira architect

by Christa van Vlodrop

1. Background

I was born in Tokyo. As a child I already loved building with Lego. I built an interior, I connected the rooms from one plateau of Lego blocks to another plateau. I still work, as I did then, from the inside out. The form is created as a result of the spatial development from within.

2. Why are you fascinated with
architecture / urban development?

I love to travel. To places where people live, work, eat and party. I love urban spaces, designing buildings that do something with the people and the environment and I love architecture that makes the lives of people and their environment more valuable.

3. Best city

I absolutely can not pick one. The cities that I know and visit again and again are: Tokyo, Chicago, Paris, Madrid and Sao Paulo. These are cities where the life of the residents, architecture and streets are connected. I feel happy when I walk, reside and live in such a city. There are more of these cities that I do not know yet: I am looking forward to discovering them.

4. Most beautiful building

I like architecture that is simple and evokes emotion and joins with the environment. Saito House by Kiyoshi Seike, Magney House by Glenn Murcutt, TWA Terminal by Eero Saarinen.

5. Most beautiful park or square

Plaza Mayor in Madrid. Or other plazas mayores in Spanish cities. It's a genius and generic concept of a square open space that always works, as the heart of the city, a place where people gather and meet.

6. Best public facility / urban infill

Three urban plans of the Eastern Docklands in Amsterdam: KNSM-Island, Java-Island and Borneo-Sporenburg. The most innovative and valuable urban plan of late 20th and early 21st centuries. The diverse expressions of the various types of housing, the street scenes and the atmosphere with the same housing density. Good combination of municipal, commercial and private party initiatives.

7. Best 20th and 21st century innovations

The biggest change in the 20th century, in all developed countries, is that we have broken with the community that imposes a certain way of living and thinking on individuals. As a result, new developments of art, techniques and expressions arise. We enjoy the opportunity for an individual to be free and be linked to whom and wherever. This has great impact on the traditional units of the communities such as neighborhoods, businesses, churches, religion, political parties and governments, but also for the population that does not enjoy the maximum benefits of this.

8. Next groundbreaking innovation

What will be the purpose of physical spaces in a city, rural or residential area. I wonder what issues and debates will have an influence in the coming period. It is clear that the energy question has become increasingly important. What is the change in significance of the community and the significance of the physical environment. I'm curious what the quality of life will be in 2050.

9. About the future of cities

I fear that the established European cities will become a Disneyland. Their identity will belong to history and it will be the location for entertaining people from around the world. The innovation of the future will take place somewhere else. The free, creative and future-oriented people will find a way and a place where they can express themselves.

10. Personal contribution to urban development

Architecture, that I try to make, is a valuable connection between the city, the environment and the people who use the building. The connection between the specific environment and the people develop a physical expression that seamlessly integrates and determines both specifics. Creating an authentic place is my goal.

11. Guerrilla in the city?

For me Guerrilla in the city is that you're deeply connected with a place or a city, but also to other places or cities in the world. You come and go, you're free to come and go. The cities where people are caught up or stay caught up, are vulnerable cities.