Every now and then you come across an image that stays with you. For me, one of those images is Reflection of Mineral, a stunning example of Pet Architecture in Tokyo’s Nakano ward.
I didn’t realise it at the time, and carelessly threw away the issue of Wallpaper* magazine that featured the building on its cover. The image was almost identical to the above, but the beetle was pink, not yellow. Countless Google searches wrought nothing, and I was intent on finding the building before I visit Tokyo in 12 weeks time.
So I was pleasantly surprised when a photo of the house arrived unsolicited in my inbox, thanks to The Cool Hunter.
The name, Reflection of Mineral, comes from the angular nature of the building, and the play between light and reflection inside and out. and what should serve as an example of how small building sites shouldn’t be a limitation of great architecture.
This remarkable building stands on a site of just 44.62 square metres. I give you the size in two decimal points because every millimetre counts. The architect, Yashuhiro Yamashita, has utilised the small amount of space in a unique way that should serve as an example of how great architecture can come from the greatest challenges.
The ‘plaza’, aka the carspace, creates a democratic addition to the streetscape. Upstairs, the bedroom and living room feature high ceilings and integrated features, including the wavy bins in the kitchen which give the illusion of space. My favourite space of all, however, is the bathroom (below, bottom), where the building’s unique angles create an elegant, playful space that so perfectly sums up the sum of this building’s many parts.