A Gem in Tokyo: The Architectural Marvel of Yasuhiro Yamashita x Atelier TEKUTO’s ‘Reflection of Mineral’

Introduction

Image source: tekuto.com

In the bustling heart of Tokyo, where space is a premium and creativity knows no bounds, stands an architectural masterpiece known as “Reflection of Mineral.” Designed by Yasuhiro Yamashita in collaboration with Atelier TEKUTO, this unique residence encapsulates the essence of innovative urban living. This article delves into the fascinating story behind the house, exploring its design, challenges, and the accolades it has garnered.

A Challenging Canvas: The Site and Client’s Vision

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The site for “Reflection of Mineral” is a small, irregularly shaped plot of land measuring 44.62m². Nestled at the intersection of two narrow streets forming an acute angle, this corner plot in a densely populated Tokyo neighborhood presented significant design challenges. The client had three primary requests for their new home:

  1. Architectural Stimulation: The house needed to stand out as a highly stimulating piece of architecture.
  2. Maximum Livable Volume: The design had to maximize the usable space within the constraints of the small plot.
  3. Covered Parking: The house required a covered parking space for the client’s car.

Navigating Constraints: The Design Process

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Tokyo’s stringent building codes posed additional challenges, requiring compliance with three different height restriction planes. These intersecting planes created a complex design puzzle. The solution was a polyhedral structure, meticulously crafted to maximize the buildable volume while adhering to the regulations.

Image source: tekuto.com

Yasuhiro Yamashita and Atelier TEKUTO approached this project with the precision of gem cutters. Every cut and angle was carefully considered to transform the initial mass into a multi-faceted, diamond-like structure. This meticulous process inspired the house’s name, “Reflection of Mineral,” evoking the image of a precious gemstone buried in the urban fabric.

Design Features: A Mineral’s Reflection

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The final design of “Reflection of Mineral” is a testament to architectural ingenuity. Its striking form, resembling a crystal or mineral, not only meets the client’s demands but also creates a visually stimulating presence in the neighborhood. The house features:

  • Complex Polyhedral Shape: The irregular form maximizes internal space and creates a dynamic exterior.
  • Optimal Space Utilization: Despite the small footprint, the design achieves a spacious interior, providing a comfortable living environment.
  • Covered Parking: Cleverly integrated into the design, the parking space does not detract from the overall aesthetic.

Awards and Recognition

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“Reflection of Mineral” has received significant acclaim in the architectural community, winning prestigious awards that highlight its innovative design:

  • Wallpaper Design Award – The Best Bolthole Award: Celebrating the house’s ability to provide a cozy, secluded retreat in an urban setting.
  • INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE AWARD 2008: Recognizing the global significance of its design and execution.
  • ARCHIP ARCHITECTURE AWARD 2008 – Grand Prix: Honoring the project’s excellence in private house innovations.

A Jewel in the Urban Landscape

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“Reflection of Mineral” is more than just a house; it is a symbol of how thoughtful design can transform even the most challenging sites into livable works of art. The project exemplifies how architects can push the boundaries of conventional design to create spaces that are both functional and aesthetically striking. The house stands as a testament to the potential of modern architecture to enrich urban environments, offering inspiration to architects and homeowners alike.

Living in a Masterpiece

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The interior of “Reflection of Mineral” mirrors its exterior complexity and beauty. Large windows and carefully placed skylights flood the interior with natural light, enhancing the sense of space and connection to the outside world. The use of high-quality materials and finishes further elevates the living experience, ensuring that every aspect of the home reflects the care and precision of its design.

Image source: tekuto.com

The open-plan living areas flow seamlessly from one space to another, creating an environment that feels both expansive and intimate. The covered parking area, often a utilitarian afterthought in many designs, is seamlessly integrated, demonstrating that practicality need not come at the expense of beauty.

Conclusion

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“Reflection of Mineral” by Yasuhiro Yamashita and Atelier TEKUTO is a shining example of how innovative design can overcome challenging constraints to create something truly remarkable. This Tokyo gem not only fulfills the client’s unique requirements but also contributes to the architectural landscape with its bold and imaginative form. Recognized and celebrated globally, “Reflection of Mineral” stands as a beacon of modern architectural excellence, proving that with creativity and precision, even the smallest and most irregular sites can host extraordinary homes.

Image source: tekuto.com
Image source: tekuto.com
Image source: tekuto.com
Image source: tekuto.com
Image source: tekuto.com
Image source: tekuto.com
Image source: tekuto.com
Image source: tekuto.com
Image source: tekuto.com
Image source: tekuto.com
Image source: tekuto.com

In a world where space is limited and the need for sustainability is paramount, projects like “Reflection of Mineral” pave the way for future architectural innovations, blending form, function, and environmental consciousness into a harmonious whole.



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Tags:
Design, Art & Architecture

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