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Six Essential Materials & The Architects That Love Them

In case you missed it, we’re re-publishing this popular post for your material pleasure. Enjoy!

To celebrate the recent launch of our US product catalog, ArchDaily Materials, we've coupled six iconic architects with what we deem to be their favourite or most frequently used material. From Oscar Neimeyer's sinuous use of concrete to Kengo Kuma's innovative use of wood, which materials define some of the world's best known architects?

SISII / Yuko Nagayama & Associates

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  • Architects: Yuko Nagayama & Associates
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 144.0 sqm
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2010

Azumaya / Yuko Nagayama & Associates

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano + 11

  • Architects: Yuko Nagayama & Associates
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 20.0 sqm
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2007

Urbanprem Minami Aoyama / Yuko Nagayama & Associates

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano + 11

Minato, Japan
  • Architects: Yuko Nagayama & Associates
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 144.0 sqm
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2012

Katsutadai House / Yuko Nagayama & Associates

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano + 15

Yachiyo, Japan
  • Architects: Yuko Nagayama & Associates
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 80.0 sqm
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2013

Repository / Jun Igarashi Architects

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano + 29

Asahikawa, Japan
  • Architects: Jun Igarashi Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 279.0 sqm
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2012

Polyphonic / Jun Igarashi Architects

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano + 19

Tokoro District, Japan
  • Architects: Jun Igarashi Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 128.0 sqm
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2012

Case / Jun Igarashi Architects

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano + 19

Sapporo, Japan
  • Architects: Jun Igarashi Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 81.0 sqm
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2012

Grass Building / Ryo Matsui Architects

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano + 15

Minato, Japan
  • Architects: Ryo Matsui Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 305.0 sqm

Hair Do / Ryo Matsui Architects

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Funabashi, Japan
  • Architects: Ryo Matsui Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 106.0 sqm

Shirasu Residence / ARAY Architecture

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano + 16

Kagoshima, Japan
  • Architects: ARAY Architecture
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 143.0 sqm
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2013

Why Japan is Crazy About Housing

Japan is famous for its radical residential architecture. But as Tokyo architect Alastair Townsend explains, its penchant for avant garde housing may be driven by the country’s bizarre real estate economics, as much as its designers’ creativity.

Here on ArchDaily, we see a steady stream of radical Japanese houses. These homes, mostly designed by young architects, often elicit readers’ bewilderment. It can seem that in Japan, anything is permissible: stairs and balconies without handrails, rooms flagrantly cast open to their surroundings, or homes with no windows at all.

These whimsical, ironic, or otherwise extreme living propositions arrest readers’ attention, baiting us to ask: WTF Japan? The photos travel the blogosphere and social networks under their own momentum, garnering global exposure and international validation for Japan’s outwardly shy, yet media-savvy architects. Afterall, in Japan – the country with the most registered architects per capita – standing out from the crowd is the key to getting ahead for young designers. But what motivates their clients, who opt for such eccentric expressions of lifestyle?

Library House / Shinichi Ogawa & Associates. Image Courtesy of Shinichi Ogawa & Associates House in Kohoku / Torafu. Image © Daici Ano House in Saijo / Suppose Design Office. Image Courtesy of Nacasa&Partners Inc. HouseT / Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects. Image © Hiroyasu Sakaguchi + 9

Roof & Mushrooms Pavilion / Ryue Nishizawa + Nendo

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano + 25

Sakyo Ward, Japan
  • Architects: Ryue Nishizawa, Nendo
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2013

Spicebok Offices / Nendo

© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano
Hodogaya ward, Japan
  • Architects: Nendo
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2013

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano + 12

J's vis aile / atelier KUU

© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano
Nagakute, Japan
  • Architects: atelier KUU
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 381.0 sqm
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2007

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano + 16

Everybody Finds Somebody Someplace / htmn

© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano
Akishima, Japan
  • Architects: htmn
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 3980.0 sqm
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2012

Courtesy of htmn © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano + 29

ABC Center House / Kakuro Odagi + Daisuke Narushima

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano + 20

Nishi ward, Japan
  • Architects: Kakuro Odagi, Daisuke Narushima
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 93.44 sqm
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2012

House in Sanbonmatsu / Hironaka Ogawa

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  • Architects: Hironaka Ogawa
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 253.03 sqm
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2011