Twice during the last year, I had the great chance to stay over in Reversible Destiny‘s architectures. Along with good friends, we spent the last few days of 2011 at the Bioscleave House in Long Island, and more recently stayed over at the Mitaka Lofts in Tokyo. This is one thing to visit those architectures during the day (see my previous experience at the Bioscleave House through the interview with Madeline Gins), this is another one to actually stay there and therefore confront their uniqueness to our sense of domesticity.
The atypical dwelling that surprises you and amazes you at first becomes a terrain of habits in a second phase. Your body does not need to find its right spot and position anymore, it knows the few places in which it can form an adequate Architectural Body. Climbing a small “hill” to go to the bathroom or to the kitchen when you just woke up puts you in an interesting state of cautious somnambulism. Paradoxically, vision becomes less important in your understanding of space; or rather vision does not register anymore in a hierarchical scheme in which it commands the rest of the body, it becomes an equal part of the sharp awareness of the environment your body builds little by little. Moving in these architectures becomes a dance; not a ballet, of course, but rather something along the lines of Pina Bausch in which stumbling is part of a harmonious movement celebrating the living. Your body is both fragile and strengthen when confronted to the risk it continuously needs to response to. An understanding is always (re)negotiated between this liberated matter and your body which, in this regard, is one step closer to fathom its own material properties.
In a more prosaic way, the Mitaka Lofts are inhabited by several people and the Reversible Destiny Foundation Tokyo office, and were therefore appropriated by a multitude of standardized well known objects and furniture (see photographs below) that reinforce considerably the uniqueness of their architecture. Whether this is the swing of the sphere room, the hanging dish-dryer, the small library organized here and there, or the ikea-like desk in one of the square room, those objects brings a striking contrast both with their environment and the one that they usually occupy. The body is not the only one that attempts to construct a harmonious relationship with the architecture, those objects, and the way of life that they imply, also do.
By their very existence, those two buildings offer us the possibility to imagine bold and radical built architectures, possibility that we refuse to see on a daily basis as a form of excuse for our own production. As a response to the ambient dullness, the Reversible Destiny Foundation celebrates an architecture of joy. The latter does not need to be taken as an example for what it stands for, but it surely should for the enthusiastic and audacious creative spirit it embodies.
Thank you very much to Madeline Gins, Momoyo Homma, Joke MacNair and Hiroko Nakatani
Mitaka Lofts, October 2012 (photographs Léopold Lambert):
Bioscleave House, December 2011 (photographs Léopold Lambert):