Best Roofscape
Wallpaper|February 2022
IWA sake brewery, Japan, by Kengo Kuma & Associates
By Tony Chambers. Photographs by Nao Tsuda y Mitsumasa Fujitsuka

My reputation, my notoriety is built on the art of assembling and blending, and this project has been all about assembling and blending the best possible team.’ So says Richard Geoffroy, former Dom Pérignon chef de cave (W*211), now creator of a progressive new sake brand, IWA. The team to which he refers consists of sake master Ryuichiro Masuda, designer Marc Newson, who created the distinctive bottle and glassware, and architect Kengo Kuma, who has designed this Wallpaper* Award-winning sake brewery.

Kuma was Geoffroy’s first choice. They first met in around 2005 when working on another, unrealised, project, so this was a chance to set the record straight. ‘Kengo has been resetting the fundamentals of Japanese architecture,’ explains Geoffroy over a glass or two of IWA 5. ‘He has an undiluted and pure vision; he has put Japanese architecture back on the map. His architecture, like our sake, is rooted in Japan, but it has an international reach.’

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