REVERSIBLE DESTINY LOFTS – THE UNDYING HOUSE IN MEMORY OF HELLEN KELLER

Located in Mitaka, Japan, the Reversible Destiny Lofts were created and completed in 2005 by architects cum artists, Madeline Ginsin and Shusaku Arakawa in memory of Helen Keller. Since the building’s completion, it has attracted visitors worldwide and tons of articles were written about the building not only locally but also abroad. The lofts are currently used as educational, residential and cultural facilities.

As an iconic landmark of the suburbs of Tokyo, the Reversible Destiny Lofts is an enchanting 9-unit collective housing project which is painted with fourteen colours from the inside and outside. This includes the elevators, corridors and even balcony. It stimulates the attention of visitors, drawing them to fully focus on the building shaped like an individual body. A renowned novelist named Setouchi Jakuchou has also called the building an “ultrachromatic undying house”.

Photo Credit – Takahiro Hayashi

The building is also said to resemble residential space arranged in a stack form such as a cube, sphere and tube. The apartments would have a circular room with a kitchen in the centre plus including 3 or 4 different shapes depending on the size of the unit. The floor at the central space is made from uneven compacted materials such as mortar accompanied by vertical poles that assist movement in the space and also ceiling hooks for storage, lighting and furniture. The entire building is linked by external walkways and staircases.

These spaces are where people spend the most part of their lives living in. The Reversible Destiny Lofts were thus created to provide different uses for individuals according to one’s physical abilities. For instance, one space might be suitable for a toddler while another would be more suitable for an elderly citizen.

The creators believed that our bodies are unique and are also constantly changing. The building was to proof that we are all able to do certain things which we thought were impossible at one point of our life. The design of this building was inspired by Helen Keller as she had “reversed her destiny” during her lifetime. Guests who inhabit the spaces would be granted a chance to discover the full potential of the body and also experience the challenges of spaces which are more appropriate for people of different ages.

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