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Meet the architect behind the Founders' Memorial


IT ALL started with a modest public bathhouse in a small Japanese town. Now, Kengo Kuma is a big-name architect with close to 300 staff, 600 built works and high-profile commissions across the globe - including the Founders' Memorial, a major project commemorating Singapore's founding fathers.

Friday's issue of Weekend magazine takes on a design theme as we trace the career of the acclaimed Japanese architect whose contemporaries include Shigeru Ban and Kazuyo Sejima. We look at how, as a 10-year-old, he was inspired to become an architect when he saw the sweeping lines of Kenzo Tange's Yoyogi National Gymnasium for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and how, 50 years later, he was given the job to design the New National Stadium for the now-postponed Tokyo Olympics 2020. But in the course of his 30-plus year career, he continues to think out of the box, with projects that emphasise natural materials and sustainability.

We also meet Jerry De Souza, the yin to lifestyle maven Cynthia Chua's yang; he has played a pivotal behind-the-scenes role as creative director of her concepts from Spa Esprit to Tiong Bahru Bakery. He talks about his past work in developing a lifestyle brand and about his current life as an independent creative director in New York.

We also catch up with fine dining chefs and restaurateurs as they gear up for a fierce battle against the coronavirus with special measures and alternative revenue streams to shore up their bottom lines.

Elsewhere, we check out stalwart restaurants which have revamped their decor to widen their customer base, peep at what Singaporean designers have planned for Milan Design Week, visit the National Gallery's first solo exhibition by Latiff Mohidin, and delve into the art (and crime) of seduction in this #MeToo era.

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