Plastic House

architect Kengo Kuma
project Plastic House, Tokio, Japan
written by Kengo Kuma


How do we escape from the massiveness of the concrete box? This has been my pursuit for the past few years. If I were to put the architecture of the 20th century into one word it would be ’concrete’. Con­crete’s ’freedom’ and ’universality’ accommodated the 20th century so well that other, local, methods of construction were abandoned. Moreover the ’strength’ of the solid mass, created in the sudden transformation from the thick fluid substance, suited an era in which monumentality, security and privacy were desired. Therefore to seek for a substitute (material) is not a mere formal proposal, rather an attempt to suggest a ’principle of living’ to replace the fundamentals of the 20th century; ’freedom (of course, in the sense of the era), ’strength’ and ’security’.