Kazuyo Sejima. House in a Plum Grove, Tokyo, Japan (Scale model 1:5). 1999–2004

Kazuyo Sejima House in a Plum Grove, Tokyo, Japan (Scale model 1:5) 1999–2004

  • Not on view

House in a Plum Grove is a three-story edifice on a corner plot in a Tokyo neighborhood and a prime example of Sejima’s residential architectural work. Known for her elegant use of simple forms and industrial materials like steel and glass, she achieves maximum impact by generating unexpected spaces that break from modern architecture’s characteristic focus on functionality. Unlike typical residential layouts, which feature large shared living areas, this house offers a range of spaces that may be adapted to changing daily routines. Rethinking traditional notions of privacy, the building includes interior walls punctuated with variously sized openings and composed of extremely thin, prefabricated steel plate. This increases the feeling of connectivity inside the home, as the apertures allow activities occurring in one room to be seen and overheard from another. With its unique combination of structural precision and flexible, experientially rich spaces, the house expresses the boundless potential of small-scale living.

The creation of study models in different scales and materials is essential to the conceptual and design development of Sejima’s projects, where it replaces the architectural sketch. The large size of this model—its physical presence and materiality—underscore Sejima’s interest in studies that allow for an empirical experience of the design.

Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)
Architectural firm
Kazuyo Sejima & Associates
Aluminum, wood, paper, and polystyrene
55 7/8 × 53 9/16 × 51 5/16" (142 × 136 × 130.3 cm)
Gift of Alice Tisch and Guy Nordenson
Object number
Architecture and Design

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].