Reflection of Mineral house, Japan by Yasuhiro Yamashita

DATE : 19/10/11

"The site is located near the center of Tokyo. It is a small plot bounded by two streets. Conforming to legal conditions and in response to the client’s wish for a ‘roofed garage’ the volume was trimmed from various directions. ‘Minerals’ and ‘reflection’ are keywords that help turn the negative factor of elimination into a positive one.

‘Minerals’ are considered to combine abstract properties (conceptual object) with nonfigurative properties (object whose presence of matter is more obvious). Changes from transparent, translucent to opaque occur according to light entering in certain ways at certain angles. The body can in no way be treated as a simple element.

‘Reflection’ is a recent keyword pertaining to the perception of space. Vision is an important factor in the recognition of space. My interest lies in such area of visual perception. By shaping volumes in polyhedra (facets with three factors?transparent, translucent and opaque) and entangling them in three-dimensional way inside the internal space, visual reflection is induced, which results in deviation from the restrictiveness of space.

Then as people move inside the space or with light entering at a certain angle the facet’s presence changes, bringing about diversity in space. Inside the polyhedron equipped with such abstractiveness are the kitchen, counter shelf, stairs, floors and toilet box equipped with functionality that exist as nonfigurative objects.

The bathroom box on third floor features a mirror finish in stainless steel, which combines both factors of object and reflection, and presents itself as a substitution of both ‘minerals’ and ‘reflection’.

Relationship with the surrounding environment is expressed in the small plaza open to the streets, a piloti-like space that emerged after placing the garage on ground floor. Its liberating feeling might trigger some change in the surrounding streetscape.

Compared to other micro homes in Japan, this three-story, 474 sq ft home could actually be considered quite accommodating. For much of the Western world however, it is still small by comparison. It’s a worthwhile study in design to see how all the necessary amenities can be contained in such a small space especially considering that the home’s faceted and angled facade does not even take full advantage of its available building area."

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