Do Tokyo’s Reversible Destiny Lofts really have the power to reverse your destiny?
The architectural landmark is designed to expand your mind in new ways.
With more people than ever working away from the office during the pandemic, many unconventional venues have opened their doors to remote workers, but none in Tokyo are quite as unconventional as Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka – In Memory of Helen Keller.
This bright and colorful group of buildings consists of nine apartments, all in the style of their namesake, Helen Keller, destined to reverse the fate of one’s life unexpected details like textured, sloped floors to create stimulating environments that lead to a long and vital life.
Our reporter Mariko Ohanabatake has been in need of some inspiration to help her write lately, so she couldn’t think of a better place to shake her out of her writing rut than the colourful Reversible Destiny lofts.
Open for telecommuting on weekdays between 11am and 5pm, Mariko invited fellow reporter Chie Nomura to the company. Chie is something of a veteran when it comes to writing about unusual buildings in Tokyo, having lived in and covered Tokyo’s iconic Nakagin Capsule Tower Building before it was marked for demolition earlier this year.
This was Mariko’s first time meeting Chie, so she was a little nervous, but assumed they had much to talk about in the strange and wonderful setting of a room Reversible Destiny lofts.
▼ It was the first time for both of them to visit us, and the buildings looked even cuter in person!
Everything in the premises, from the elevators to the corridors and handrails, was super colourful.
Upon meeting Chie, Mariko felt instantly at ease as they walked through the complex to their assigned room, cooing “kawaii!” with everything they saw on their way.
▼ Mariko estimates that she and Chie said “kawaii” about 100 times before arriving at her room.
When they opened the door to their telework space, they entered one poppy colored bright futuristic yet retro space.
Mariko slipped off her shoes and immediately noticed another unusual aspect of the room – The ground was wavy and not level.
Stepping on the rough ground immediately stimulates the arch of the foot, which is surprisingly comfortable and mimics walking barefoot in the great outdoors.
Before you use the room, the staff will introduce you to the basics of using the room and introduce you to various points of interest. It’s like spending time in a livable art space, so it requires a certain level of respect, but it’s still very chilled to be with a focus on fun and exploration.
▼ It’s a dwelling meant for living in, but actually has very little storage space, with the biggest compartment being that green drawer.
▼ However, if you look at the ceiling, you will see a lot of small loops.
This puts a whole new twist on storing your belongings at home, and Mariko and Chie had fun hanging their bags in unexpected places.
They were encouraged to explore the space and expand their minds with new concepts and possibilities, which was exactly what they needed for their writing. It was certainly a world away from her usual writing environment of the comparatively staid office.
The Reversible Destiny Lofts was designed to change the way you think, but could it change the way you write too? To find out, Mariko and Chie set up their workspaces around the central kitchen area, which itself was a marvel of dual-level design.
▼ Another nice surprise were the hanging sockets for chargers.
Before sitting down to write, Mariko couldn’t resist exploring the room a little more. There were three small rooms off the central kitchen area and also a bathroom and toilet area.
Shower, washing machine and cooking utensils cannot be used for teleworking guests, but can be used for overnight stays.
Each room has a different structure and color scheme, forcing you to use parts of your brain not used in more familiar settings to navigate the room. The bright yellow room, for example, is beveled all around and shaped like a sphere The echo of your voice changes depending on where you look.
There are also ladders and poles to help you use your body in ways long forgotten.
Quiet time is just as important as playtime, and you can do that in the orange room, which can be locked off with shoji doors.
Overnight guests can use this space for sleeping, and there’s also an unconventional hanging system for clothes.
The pink walled room has a circular area with tatami mats a gravel square by the window that imitates a dry landscape garden.
After exploring all the different rooms, Mariko felt like her mind had opened up to new possibilities, and as she sat down to write, words and phrases flowed effortlessly from her fingertips.
After about a good hour of writing, Mariko got up to stretch her legs and swing in the hammock for a while to reboot her brain for her next story.
She felt a new flood of ideas flooding her as she swung into the hammock, so she decided to change things up by moving to another room for a new change of scenery.
Ideas flowed effortlessly again, and Mario began to wish she could work from here for the rest of her professional life. It truly felt like a reversal of fate, and Chie, who had done more work than usual during her telecommuting session, wholeheartedly agreed.
▼ Bottomless cups of coffee also helped.
It’s just about showing that Changing your environment can significantly change the way you think and work. For Mariko and Chie, their six-hour writing session went by in a snap, and they’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a change of pace in the city.
According to staff Many people who use the telecommuting plan book an overnight stay afterwards, and Mariko can totally understand why.
▼ Six hours here just isn’t enough!
Telecommuting plans at Reversible Destiny Lofts cost 11,000 yen per room. With up to four people using a space at a time, the cost can drop to 2,750 yen per person, which is a lot for those looking to spend some time in an architectural icon.
It’s a great way to support and keep the landmark alive, especially since it always needs money to protect its own destiny.