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Tradition Serving the Future: Lessons from the Portland Japanese Garden’s New Architecture

Photo by Miko Hayashi

Architect Balazs Bognar will use the new design for Portland Japanese Garden to unpack lessons for the future, focusing on the idea of learning from tradition while updating it to suit contemporary needs. In a lecture exploring themes of materials, details, methods, processes, and spatial experience, Bognar will offer a deeper, more thoughtful understanding of how tradition can inform the future of architecture to foster sensitive designs that serve generations to come.


Balazs Bognar is an American architect and a design director at Kengo Kuma and Associates. He received his Master in Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture at Washington University of St. Louis. Bognar has been based in Tokyo and working with Kengo Kuma since 2007, focusing on projects primarily in the United States, but also in Canada, Australia, China, and Japan. Significant projects completed with Kengo Kuma include the Red Bull Music Academy Japan (Tokyo, 2014), Shizuku by Chef Naoko (Portland, 2016), Portland Japanese Garden (2017), Suteki House (Happy Valley, 2017), and the soon to be completed Rolex Tower (Dallas, 2018). He currently has projects in progress in Sydney, Tokyo, Vancouver, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Vail, Colorado.

The event is part of the International Japanese Garden Training Center’s 2018 public lecture series and is sponsored in part by Hacker Architects. The Center is supported by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.