Architectural landmark is designed to expand your mind in new ways.

With more people than ever working out of the office during the pandemic, a lot of unconventional venues have opened their doors to teleworkers, but none in Tokyo are quite as unconventional as Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka – In Memory of Helen Keller.

This bright and colourful cluster of buildings consists of nine apartments, each designed to reverse the destiny of one’s life in the style of its namesake Helen Keller, with unexpected details like textured, sloped floors to create stimulating environments that lead to long and vital lives.

Our reporter Mariko Ohanabatake had been feeling in need of inspiration to help her writing lately, so she could think of no better place to shake her out of her writing rut than the colourful  Reversible Destiny Lofts.

Open for teleworking between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, Mariko invited fellow reporter Chie Nomura along for company. Chie is something of a veteran when it comes to writing about unusual buildings in Tokyo, having lived in and reported from Tokyo’s iconic Nakagin Capsule Tower Building before it was cleared for demolition earlier this year.

This would be Mariko’s first time meeting Chie so she was a little nervous, but she figured they would have lots to talk about in the weird and wonderful surroundings of a room at Reversible Destiny Lofts. 

▼ It was the first time for either of them to visit, and the buildings looked even cuter in person!

Inside the premises, everything from the elevators to the corridors and handrails was super colourful.

When she met Chie, Mariko felt immediately at ease as they walked through the complex to their designated room, cooing “kawaii!” at everything they saw on their way.

Mariko reckons she and Chie would’ve uttered “kawaii” about 100 times before arriving at their room.

When they opened the door to their teleworking room, they found themselves stepping into a poppy, bright, futuristic-yet-retro space.

Slipping off their shoes, Mariko immediately noticed another unusual aspect of the room — the floor was undulating and not level.

Stepping on the rough floor immediately stimulates the arch of your foot, which is surprisingly pleasant, mimicking a walk barefoot in the great outdoors.

Before using the room, staff willguide you on the basics of how to use the room and introduce you to various points of interest. It’s like spending time in a liveable art space so it requires a certain level of respect, but it’s all still very laid-back, with a focus on fun and exploration.

▼ It’s an apartment that’s designed to be lived in, but it actually has very little storage space, with the biggest compartment being this green drawer.

▼ However, if you look at the ceiling, you’ll see many small loops.

This puts a whole new twist on how you store your belongings around the home, and Mariko and Chie had fun hooking their bags up in unexpected places.

They were encouraged to explore the room and expand their minds to new concepts and possibilities, which is exactly what they needed for their writing. It certainly was a world away from their usual writing environment of the comparatively staid office.

The Reversible Destiny Lofts is designed to change your way of thinking, but would it be able to change their way of writing too? Keen to find out, Mariko and Chie set up their workstations around the central kitchenette area, which itself was a marvel of design, with split-level flooring.

▼ The hanging sockets for charging devices was another neat surprise.

Before sitting down to write, Mariko couldn’t resist exploring the space a little more. There were three small rooms off the central kitchenette area, and a bathroom and toilet area as well.

The shower, washing machine, and cooking utensils can’t be used for teleworking guests, but they can be used for overnight stays.

Every room has a different structure and colour scheme, forcing you to use parts of your brain that don’t get used in more familiar environments to navigate the space. The bright yellow room, for example, is sloped all around and shaped like a sphere, and the echo of your voice changes depending on the direction you’re facing. 

There are also ladders and poles to help you use your body in long-forgotten ways as well.

Rest-time is just as important as playtime, and you can do that in the orange room, which can be closed off with shoji doors.

Overnight guests can use this room for sleeping, and there’s an unconventional hanging system for clothes as well.

The pink-walled room has a circular tatami mat section, with a gravelled space by the window that mimics a dry landscape garden. 

After exploring all the different spaces, Mariko felt as if her mind had been opened up to new possibilities, and when she sat down to write, words and sentences flowed effortlessly from her fingertips.

After a solid hour or so of writing, Mariko got up to stretch her legs, and swing in the hammock for a while to reset her brain for her next story.

She felt a new flood of ideas flood over her as she swung in the hammock, so she decided to switch things up by moving to another room for a new change of scene.

Again, the ideas flowed effortlessly, and Mario began to wish she could work from here for the rest of her working life. It really felt like a reversal of destiny, and Chie, who finished more work than usual during their teleworking session, wholeheartedly agreed.

▼ Bottomless cups of coffee also helped.

It just goes to show that changing your environment can go a long way towards changing your mindset, and the way you work too. For Mariko and Chie, their six-hour writing session went by in the blink of an eye, and they highly recommend it to anyone looking for a change of pace in the city.

According to staff, many people who use the teleworking plan wind up booking an overnight stay afterwards, and Mariko can totally understand why.

▼ Six hours here just isn’t enough!

Teleworking plans at Reversible Destiny Lofts are priced at 11,000 yen per room. With up to four people able to use one room at the same time, the costs can come down to 2,750 yen per person, which is a great deal for those wanting to spend some time inside an architectural icon.

It’s a great way to help support the landmark and keep it alive as well, especially as it’s always in need of funding to help protect its own destiny.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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