Step Inside the “Jenga” House of Kumamoto, Japan

Games GeekMom Technology
Image by Iwan Baan, via weburbanist, ArchDaily

The game of Jenga is pretty ubiquitous in geek circles. It’s a party game that seems to reach all ages, all skill levels, and every experience. The ingenious little blocks can be moved and replaced in a myriad of ways, and still stand together… well, until they don’t.

And if any of you out there have seen or participated in Omegathon, you’ll know that Jenga scales surprisingly well. But you may never have imagined it this big. Sou Fujimoto Architects in Japan have created a house built around the same principals as that beloved wooden-brick-stacking game, and the results are rather stunning. Over at, they share some thoughts on the process and thinking behind the structure, which was completed in 2008:

Lumber is extremely versatile. In an ordinary wooden architecture, lumber is effectively differentiated according to functions in various localities precisely because it is so versatile. Columns, beams, foundations, exterior walls, interior walls, ceilings, floorings, insulations, furnishings, stairs, window frames, meaning all. However, I thought if lumber is indeed so versatile then why not create architecture by one rule that fulfills all of these functions. I envisioned the creation of new spatiality that preserves primitive conditions of a harmonious entity before various functions and roles differentiated.

While the house might not quite be ready for permanent residents (I imagine there’s quite a draft in the winter, and well, rain is likely a problem) it’s still a stunning example of art and architecture living together in harmony. Is it sculpture? Is it a dwelling? Does it matter?

Check out the full post for a variety of images and floor plans.

[via weburbanist]

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