The “Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka (In Memory of Helen Keller),” built by architects/artists Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins, are the first residential units designed “to not to die.”
Completed in 2005, the building has attracted visitors from around the world. It has been featured in countless articles in the press both in Japan and abroad. Its interest lies in the way that the building stimulates the visitor, bringing attention to the full potential of the body.
A landmark in Tokyo’s Western suburbs, the nine units in this collective housing project have been painted in fourteen colors both inside and outside. The Japanese novelist Setouchi Jakuchou has called the building an “ultrachromatic undying house.”
The architectural world has been revolutionized by ARAKAWA+GINS and their concept of architecture centered on the individual body. Such a project is the fruit of long years of research that led them to address residential space–a type of space where people spend a large part of their lives–as an artwork. Their proposal also opens up new possibilities in thinking about the social role of art.
This “house to not to die” has been dedicated to the memory of Helen Keller, because the building provides different uses for each individual according to their physical abilities. While there are spaces that a three-year old could use better than an adult, there are spaces that a seventy-year old may be better suited to explore.
Our bodies, which are different from each other, change constantly. By inhabiting a space that does not allow you to think of it as something that is self-evident, you can realize that you can do things that at one point you thought were impossible. That is the essence of the idea of “reversible destiny,” which the building embodies. For ARAKAWA+GINS, Helen Keller was a role-model and a source of inspiration, someone who was able to practice “reversible destiny” in her own life time.
Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka show us how each of us can become Helen Keller. This is what we mean when we say that the Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka are “a house to not to die.”
The Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka are managed by the Tokyo office of ARAKAWA+GINS (Coodinologist, Inc). The Lofts are currently used as residential and educational and cultural facilities. Some of these units are available for long and short-term lease. For more information regarding leasing, please contact ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office at; firstname.lastname@example.org
Building Name: Reversible Destiny Lofts MITAKA (In Memory of Helen Keller)
Address: 2-2-8 Osawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo, Japan.
Planning: Shusaku Arakawa + Madeline Gins, Yasui Architects and Engineers, Inc.
Contractor: Takenaka Corporation
Completion date: October 2005
Building type: Apartment House
Structure: Pre-cast concrete, reinforced concrete, steel-frame.
Building Area: 260.61m2
Total Floor Area: 761.46 m2
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